A beginning and an end for aircraft carriers

The HMS Queen Elizabeth nears completion in Rosyth Dockyard. Picture: PA
The HMS Queen Elizabeth nears completion in Rosyth Dockyard. Picture: PA
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THE aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth is captured in an aerial shot at Rosyth Dockyard in Fife.

• HMS Queen Elizabeth nears completion in Rosyth Dockyard

• HMS Ark Royal is being scrapped on Turkish coast

Close to completion, the 280 metre-long, 65,000 tonnes vessel is due to be launched next year.

She is the first of two aircraft carriers being delivered to the Royal Navy by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance. The Prince of Wales is under construction at shipyards across the UK.

Programme director Ian Booth said: “These new images show really clearly how far this programme has come.

“We are well on the way towards delivering a world-class aircraft carrier that will represent the UK globally for the next 50 years.

“By the end of this year, Queen Elizabeth will be fully assembled and we are already looking forward to her launch in 2014.”

Meanwhile, on the Turkish coast, work has begun on scrapping the once mighty Ark Royal for recycling.

These exclusive first pictures show how the top half of the former Royal Navy flagship has been carved open by heavy machinery.

About 80 staff from ship recycling firm Leyal have been dismantling the 22,000-tonne warship for about two weeks.