HMS Queen Elizabeth is the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth class of aircraft carriers, the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy. Capable of carrying close to 60 aircraft, she is named in honour of the first Queen Elizabeth, a World War I era super-dreadnought, which in turn was named after Queen Elizabeth I. The carrier Queen Elizabeth will carry her namesake ship’s honours, as well as her Tudor rose-adorned crest and motto.

The ship began sea trials in June 2017, was commissioned on 7 December 2017 and was scheduled to enter service in 2020. Her first seagoing commanding officer was Commodore Jerry Kyd, who took command in May 2016, having previously commanded the carriers Ark Royal and Illustrious. However Captain Simon Petitt was Queen Elizabeth Senior Naval Officer during 2012-2016 during her assembly period in Rosyth Dockyard, Scotland, effectively the ship’s first CO, albeit land-based.

Due to the absence of catapults or arrestor wires, Queen Elizabeth is designed to operate V/STOL aircraft. The air wing will typically consist of F-35B Lightning II multirole fighters and Merlin helicopters for airborne early warning and anti-submarine warfare. The design emphasises flexibility, with accommodation for 250 Royal Marines and the ability to support them with attack helicopters and large troop transports such as Chinooks.

She is the second Royal Navy vessel to bear the name Queen Elizabeth, and is based at HMNB Portsmouth.

From Britains Biggest Warship – Season 2, episode 1


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