The HMS Queen Elizabeth is the biggest and most powerful warship ever made in the UK. The 65,000 tonne Royal Navy aircraft carrier is almost three times the length of Buckingham Palace and can generate enough energy to power 300,000 kettles or 5,500 family homes – a town the size of Swindon!

Class facts

HMS Queen Elizabeth under construction alongside HMS Invincible

Set to be a national symbol of authority, the ship boasts a number of impressive facts.

• It is 16,187m2, three times the size of previous carriers, and can carry a combined total of 40 jets and helicopters at a time.
• At 280m, the ship is longer than the Houses of Parliament.
• The carrier has a flight deck area spanning nearly 13,000m2, which is the equivalent of 49 tennis courts.

What about the power?

The Queen Elizabeth has two propellers which together will output 80MW of power – enough power to run 1,000 family cars or 50 high speed trains. Weighing 33 tonnes each, the propellers are nearly two and a half times the weight of a double-decker bus and one and a half times as high.

Along with the HMS Prince of Wales, the huge aircraft lifts can move two Joint Strike Fighters from the hangar to the flight deck in 60 seconds. They’re so powerful that together they could lift the entire ship’s crew.

The ships on-board water treatment plant will produce over 500 tonnes of fresh water daily.

British design

The warship was recently launched by the Queen in a naming ceremony at Fife’s Rosyth Dockyard. Built at a cost of £6.2bn, construction of the aircraft carrier began five years ago in six shipyards around the UK. An enormous crane pulled together the ship’s 40,000 tonnes of plate steel in Scotland.

More than 10,000 people from 100 companies across Britain have helped to deliver the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

With a range of 10,000 miles, the ship will have 679 permanent crew and capacity for 1,600 crew members when fully operational.

Power

The carrier has been installed with the most powerful marine gas turbine in the world. The Rolls-Royce MT30 Gas Turbines generate enough energy to power a small town.

Alongside four diesel engines, they’ll provide the power for the two propellers, weapons, sensors, command systems and lower voltage requirements. An electric propulsion system will enable the ship to operate more efficiently and burn less fuel.

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