Massive in both scale and complexity, the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers are approaching a “major milestone” in their construction, with just 100 days to go until the formal ceremony to name the first ship, say project heads.
HMS Queen Elizabeth will be officially christened by the Queen in a ceremony at Rosyth in Fife, where it is currently being fitted out, on 4 July.
The ship and a second vessel, the under-construction HMS Prince of Wales, are the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy.
As this graphic shows, their size is unprecedented – each has 3,000 compartments, spread across 12 decks, and even routine journeys can take up to 20 minutes.
To help crew navigate the vessel, experts at BAE Systems have taken the unusual step of creating a special mobile phone app to guide them,
The naming of the 65,000-tonne warship will come five years after the first metal was cut on the vessel and 33 months after the first section entered the drydock at Rosyth to begin being put together.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is now structurally complete at Rosyth, although outfitting work is continuing in the run-up to the naming ceremony and the ship’s subsequent introduction to the water.
The project cost an estimated £6.2 billion.