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Aircraft Carriers

Lower Block 02 arrives at Rosyth

Lower Block 02 arrives at Rosyth

 

The Queen Elizabeth (QE) Class Aircraft Carriers will be the biggest warships ever constructed in the UK, each providing our armed forces with a four acre military operating base, which can be deployed anywhere in the world.

 

Three times the size of the Invincible Class Aircraft Carriers, these huge ships use the latest technology and equipment, enabling them to operate with a streamlined crew of 679.

A key driver is the carriers’ cutting-edge weapons handling system, which can move armaments to the flight deck six times faster, bringing the number of people required to operate the system down from 160 to just 48 crew members.

The separation and distribution of power generation machinery on the QE Class increases the survivability of the ships, while the electric propulsion system enables the prime movers to operate more efficiently, reducing less fuel consumption and running costs.

The highly integrated mission system is the brains of these ships. Bringing together tactical, navigation, command information and mission control data it can support multiple aircraft operations and task force group command functions. The twin islands design separates the running of the ship from this activity giving greater visibility of the complex flying operations.

With its complement of embarked aircraft the QE Class will be the centre piece of Britain’s military capability and will be versatile enough to be used for operations ranging from supporting war efforts to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

Key Facts

Displacement: 65,000 tonnes
Length: 280 metres
Maximum beam: 70 metres
Top speed: 25 knots
Range: 10,000 miles
Crew size: 679
Embarked forces: up to 921

 Programme(s)

BAE Systems is the lead member of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a unique partnering relationship between BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales and the UK Ministry of Defence, working to deliver the two QE Class aircraft carriers. 

We play a key role in the design and construction of the ships, with huge sections of the hulls and the island structures being built at our yards in Glasgow and Portsmouth. Hundreds of our employees are also working alongside our Alliance partner Babcock to complete the final assembly stages of the ships in the dry dock at Rosyth.

We are also responsible for the development of the sophisticated mission system which will be the brains of these ships and the high tech radar technology.  

The first of class is expected to be fully operational by 2020.

Multimedia

  • HMS Ocean
  • Type 26
  • Al Rasikh
  • Ben Gordon collects his award
  • Mobile Navigation App for the Royal Navy
  • How the Devonshire Dock Hall could look
  • How the Barrow site central yard could look in the future
  • How the Barrow site central yard could look in the future 2
  • Combat Systems
  • Dave Moy and UK Sport
  • Work Experience Girls Only
  • Maritime Apprentice Brandon Bowman
  • Fundraising for Future
  • HMS Lancaster
  • Riverlass vessels HMS Severn, Tyne and Mersey
  • Artisan
  • The forward end construction of the fifth Astute class submarine, Anson, lining up alongside her sisters, Artful and Audacious
  • Apprentices Josh Procter and Mike Cormish
  • Cyber Security Star George Hafiz
  • Al Shamikh arrive in Oman
  • Bottle smashes to celebrate naming of Artful
  • Artful
  • Artful's Crew
  • Local school children cheer for Artful
  • Admiral Sir George Zambellas and Lady Zambellas
  • Local school children cheer for Artful
  • Lady Zambellas and John Hudson enter DDH
  • Lady Zambellas and John Hudson enter DDH
  • Proud employees watching ceremony
  • Artful naming ceremony
  • Artful Naming Ceremony
  • Ulverston Victoria High School band entertain the crowds
  • Bottle smashes to celebrate naming of Artful
  • Global Combat Ship
  • contract win for BAE Systems for River Class
  • contract win for BAE Systems for River Class
  • Marce FAQ image
  • Al Shamikh out on sea trials
  • The crew on board Araguari at the handover ceremony in Portsmouth Naval Base
  • Araguari maiden sea trials
  • School children from Glasgow witness the load out of the Aft Island
  • School children from Glasgow witness the load out of the Aft Island
  • Glasgow School children witness a demonstration from the Emergency Response Team at the Aft Island Load Out event
  • The Aft Island of HMS Queen Elizabeth loads out onto the Clyde
 

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