HMS Queen Elizabeth: All you need to know about Britain's biggest ever warship as she arrives in Portsmouth

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Britain’s £3 billion aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has sailed into her home port for the first time. 

Crowds lined the walls of Portsmouth Harbour on Wednesday to welcome the UK’s biggest and most powerful warship.

The 280 metre, 65,000 tonne vessel had been undergoing training and tests at sea since June.

Here are the facts and figures behind the Royal Navy’s newest war vessel.

Size

At 280 metres long, with a lifespan of a century and a flight deck of four-acres, HMS Queen Elizabeth is Britain’s largest and most powerful warship ever built.

Crowds welcome HMS Queen Elizabeth into Portsmouth Naval Base

The aircraft carrier weighs 65,000 tonnes

There are 364,000 metres of pipes inside the ship, and from keel to masthead she measures 56 metres – four metres more than Niagara Falls.

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

Despite being on board, engineering technician Eldon Myers, 22, said he regularly clocks more than 20,000 steps during his working day.

Power

HMS Queen Elizabeth has a top speed in excess of 25 knots.

The distribution network on board manages enough energy to power 30,000 kettles or 5,500 family homes.

HMS Queen Elizabeth sails into Portsmouth

Each of the two aircraft lifts on HMS Queen Elizabeth can move two fighter jets from the hangar to the flight deck in 60 seconds.

The warship has a range of 8,000 to 10,000 nautical miles, and has two propellers – which each weigh 33 tonnes and together output 80MW of power – enough to run 1,000 family cars or 50 high speed trains.

Name

She is the second ship in the Royal Navy to be named Queen Elizabeth.

Crew

Currently, the crew is made up 80 women and 620 men (PA)

The ship has a crew of around 700, that will increase to 1,600 when a full complement of F-35B jets and Crowsnest helicopters are embarked.

Currently, there are 80 women and 620 men.

Facilities

Facilities on board include a chapel, a medical centre and 12-bed ward, currently staffed with three GPs, a nurse and medical assistants, as well as a dentist and dental nurse.

There are also five gyms on the warship which include a cardio vascular suite, two free weight rooms and a boxing gym.

Regular fitness circuit sessions and sporting activities such as basketball and tug of war are held in the hangar and on the flight deck – with weights and other items stored inside the flight deck ramp.

The 65,000 tonne warship has berthed in Portsmouth (PA)

Captain Jerry Kyd said his favourite part of the ship is the laundry – which he called “huge and bespokely built”.

The Naafi – an on board corner shop – sells toiletries, soft drinks, crisps, sweets and biscuits, and even HMS Queen Elizabeth-branded thermos mugs. All the profits made at the store then go back into the forces.

Recreational spaces enjoyed by the crew feature televisions and sofas, as well as popular board games including the traditional Navy game of Uckers. 

Food

There are five galleys on the warship – which is where the food is cooked and those on board eat their meals everyday. This includes two main galleys, the bridge mess and an aircrew refreshment bar.

Last month’s food shopping bill for the ship came in at £110,000 as more than 3,000 meals were served each day.


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