The aircraft carriers HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and HMS PRINCE OF WALES are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a unique partnering relationship between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the Ministry of Defence.

A national endeavour, at its peak the programme directly employed 10,000 people across six build yards. While manufacturing and commissioning is now solely focused in Rosyth, the skilled and diverse workforce is sourced from across the country.

Key Facts:

Each carrier weighs 65,000 tonnes

Each carrier is 280 metres in length

Top speed is upwards of 25 knots

The carriers will have a crew complement of c.700, increasing to c.1,600 when a full complement of 36 F-35B aircraft and four Crowsnest helicopters are embarked

The flight deck is 70 metres wide and 280 metres long – enough space for three football pitches

Each carrier keeps 45 days’ worth of food in its stores.

Each carrier is made up of 17 million parts

There are 364,000 metres of pipes inside each of the Ships

51 million hours have been spent designing and building the Queen Elizabeth Class.

The entire Ship’s Company can be served a meal within 90 minutes, 45 minutes when at action station

The QE Class aircraft carriers are the first Royal Navy vessels to have piped oxygen within the medical complex

Key efficiencies include:

Highly mechanised weapons handling system: At the push of a button pallets of munitions can be moved from the magazines deep in the weapons preparation area to the flight deck where they can be loaded onto aircraft.

Storage: The location and design of the storage facilities enable 20 people only half a day to replenish the ship’s stores.

Visual surveillance system: 220 cameras allow monitoring of engine and machinery spaces, external catwalk, aircraft hangars, ship entrances and access to classified areas.

Galley: Technologically advanced equipment and layout of the galley makes maintenance and service more efficient. The entire crew can be served meals in 90 minutes and 45 minute when at action stations