Image of Ship's company on-board HMS Queen Elizabeth
Over the last couple of months, the 700-strong Ship’s Company has been navigating their way around the 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier familiarising themselves with the new and high tech systems on board, undergoing training and eating meals prepared in the state of the art galley.
Living on board marks an important step in the process of bringing to life the Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier. The Ship’s Company can now become familiar with its new home, socialise together in the mess, personalise cabins and make the living spaces their own.
Key areas of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH to be used by the Ship’s Company:
  • Forward Galley – one of five galleys on board, six chefs serve daily breakfasts, lunches and dinners to the 700 men and women of the Ship’s Company.
  • Medical Complex– a world class facility, termed the ‘sick bay’ will provide routine patient consultations and clinics, as well as urgent medical treatment, minor operations and dentistry.
  • Living Quarters – with the Ship’s Company away from home for long periods of time, the QE Class carriers will be a home from home. With 1,600 bunks in 470 cabins, including accommodation for a detachment of up to 250 Royal Marines, each member of Ship’s Company will be able to use the state of the art facilities on board including a cinema and fitness suite with personnel also having access to e-mail and the internet. 
The effort from our industry colleagues, Ministry of Defence and Naval personnel to get us to this point has been immense. It has been a massive team effort and I am proud of every individual contribution. Commanding Officer, Captain Jerry Kyd Royal Navy
Sub Lieutenant Reece Statham-Quilty, Weapons Engineer, said: “It is fantastic to be part of such a large project, and working within the team driving it forward.  Living on board is a significant milestone for both the programme and the Ship’s Company. We can really see the ship come to life.”
HMS Queen Elizabeth is in advanced stages of her test and commissioning phase and will undertake her maiden sea trials programme in the summer. The months leading up to this milestone have involved a range of critical tests to prove the various systems on board, including:
  • Successful testing of radars and ship communication and combat systems to calibrate the Ship’s long range radar and its ‘Identify Friend or Foe’ sensors and a live test involving a Royal Navy Hawk aircraft.
  • Thorough testing of the Power and Propulsion system which is all the equipment that ultimately drives the ship. This includes some of the largest and most powerful components used on the ships such as the diesel generators, gas turbine engines, propellers and the ship’s stabilisers. The trials also allowed the Ship’s Company the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the operation of the power and propulsion systems and get hands on training on the systems they will operate.
  • Appointment of the ‘Officer of the Day’– a position responsible for the command and control of the Ship’s responses to emergencies, running the Ship’s movements in harbour and responsible to the Commanding Officer for safety and security on board during the period of their duty.
This work all forms part of the test and commissioning phase for the aircraft carrier, the largest vessel ever built for the Royal Navy. HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH will be a highly versatile defence asset, able to meet the widest range of tasks around the world. The carrier will serve as a significant player on the global stage in peacetime, wartime and when conducting humanitarian operations over the 50 years of her working life.
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Rachael Gordon
Strategic and External Communications Director
Air Communications

+44 (0) 7793 423682