Aircraft Carrier Alliance Chief Engineer, Martin Douglass, discussed HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
“From HMS Queen Elizabeth going to sea and entering her homeport of Portsmouth for the first time, to HMS Prince of Wales being officially named by the Duchess of Cornwall. This week, not only have we celebrated the commissioning of HMS Queen Elizabeth into Her Majesty’s fleet, but I was so proud that the ship was formally accepted by our customer.
The Aircraft Carrier Alliance has brought together the very best of British industry. I’m immensely proud to be part of the team that has provided our customer, the Royal Navy, and the Nation with the most powerful surface warship ever built in the UK.
The UK has pioneered the design of aircraft carriers, from the first flat top warship in 1918 to the first ‘island’ control tower, ski-jumps and optical landing system. Almost 100 years later, the Aircraft Carrier Alliance is again pushing the boundaries of technology with the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers – 21st century ships for a 21st century navy.
The Queen Elizabeth Class can fly 72 fast jet sorties per day – which can be increased if needed – and will give the UK a world class carrier strike capability for many years to come. She also has increased survivability because of the separation and distribution of power generation machinery throughout each ship.
The ship’s Artisan radar can track up to 800 potential targets at the same time and cut through radio ‘clutter’ generated by the equivalent of 10,000 mobile phones. The long range radar can track up to 1,000 contacts across a 250 mile radius both in the air or at sea. It’s an application of technology that’s already been proven on the Type 45s, but this time is linked to the Carrier’s organic capability to control a wide area of air and sea.”
The Queen Elizabeth class mark a change from expressing carrier power in terms of number of aircraft carried, to the number of sortie’s that can be generated from the deck. The class is estimated to be able to sustain a maximum sortie generation rate in surge conditions of up to 110 sorties per day according to an engineer we spoke to when on-board HMS Queen Elizabeth, but this was just an estimate after all.