The Queen Elizabeth class carriers will embark more amphibious assault forces than HMS Ocean, a minister has claimed.
HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales will take over the role of deploying amphibious forces when HMS Ocean is decommissioned in 2018. Defence procurement minister Philip Dunne said each ship would house a force of 900 marines and aviation personnel – 210 more than Ocean.
“As stated in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (Cm9161), we will enhance a Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) aircraft carrier to support our amphibious capability. Together with existing amphibious ships of the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, this will provide the capacity and capability to deploy our amphibious forces.
HMS OCEAN can carry up to 690 Embarked Military Forces (EMF) – Royal Marines and Aviation Group personnel – in addition to her ship’s company. She can deploy a variety of helicopter types in multiple combinations as required by her mission and role.
The QEC aircraft carriers can embark up to 900 EMF, in addition to their ship’s company, in support of their missions and tasks and a flexible mix of helicopters subject to the operational tasking.”
It is also understood that enhancing the vessels, means that storage for additional marines and more equipment will be provided and some key corridors widened too.
HMS Prince of Wales will be first as she’s still in build and then HMS Queen Elizabeth will receive these modifications when in refit.