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Royal Navy flagship joins the fleet

On Thursday the first of two new aircraft carriers, was commissioned into the Royal Navy by Her Majesty the Queen.

HMS Queen Elizabeth weighs in at 65,000 tons and is 280 metres long making it the largest warship ever built for the UK.

The ship currently houses a sailing crew of 700, but once fully operational will have up to 1600 personnel aboard, including aircrew and Royal Marines.

The ship is designed to carry the Royal Navy’s strike aircraft and helicopters around the globe and to project Britain’s power along with this ability.

Costing £3.1 billion to build each, the ships are also the most expensive ever built for the Royal Navy with estimated costing of over £6 billion to complete the two.

The flight deck represents 2 acres of sovereign territory that can be transported anywhere in the world that the UK government may need it.

Unlike many other conventional warships of her type and size, HMS Queen Elizabeth is fitted with a “ski-lift” ramp at the end of her flight deck; this is to help with the take off of the new jets.

The F35-B Lightning II will be the main asset of these two new carriers.

Much like their famed predecessor, the Sea Harrier, these new jets only need a short take-off and landing.

While this ship is designed to carry 40 fast jets, it will likely never be equipped with so many.

The F35 is an expensive piece of kit and will come in at roughly $100 million per Jet, on the other hand, it will be the most advanced stealth combat jet on the planet once operational.

The Queen Elizabeth carriers will begin being deployed with these jets from 2021 onwards.

These new carriers will both be based in Portsmouth, where a great deal of preparation work had to be carried out in order to accommodate the super-carrier.

12,800 Olympic swimming pools’ worth of mud had to be removed from Portsmouth harbour to create room for the behemoths.

As well as this dock areas have been completely renovated as the new home of the new ships.

Once HMS Queen Elizabeth’s sister ships HMS Prince of Wales is completed these two super-carriers will form the heart of the Royal Navy for the next 50 years.

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