The Most Powerful British Ship Damaged. It Won’t Sail for “War”
The text has been adapted and the advertising links from our partner have been removed. Just a few days ago, London announced that the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier was ready to head to the Mediterranean Sea area and replace the USS Gerald R. Ford American aircraft carrier, which had just returned to its home port in the USA. However, it turns out that these were premature declarations because the ship is not even ready to participate in NATO exercises, let alone in a real armed conflict.
The aircraft carrier entered service in 2017 and, unlike conventional ships of this type, it does not have a catapult for launching aircraft. It is also worth adding that it is not a nuclear-powered vessel. The Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers are mainly adapted to carry Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft, specifically the multi-role stealth F-35B Lightning II American fighter jets.
The aircraft carrier also has a special ramp that allows conventional fighter jets to take off from the deck. HMS Queen Elizabeth may not be the largest aircraft carrier in the world (that title belongs to the American USS Gerald R. Ford), but it is still a true giant. The aircraft carrier has a displacement of 65,000 tons, its deck is 70 meters wide and 280 meters long (enough space for three soccer fields!
), and its crew consists of approximately 700 people. This number increases to 1,600 people when the full complement of 70 aircraft is on board – that’s how many aircraft the aircraft carrier can carry. It is therefore a kind of floating town with enough food supplies for 45 days of travel.
In addition to F-35 fighters, the ship can transport a wide range of military helicopters, from Chinooks, Merlins, Apaches to Wildcat helicopters. Each serves a different function. For example, Merlins are used for anti-submarine warfare and early warning, while Chinooks can serve as transportation for soldiers on the ship.
Wildcats, on the other hand, are great as search and rescue helicopters. The aircraft carrier also has its own weaponry, including 20mm Phalanx guns with a range of 5.5 km for combatting aircraft, missiles, and smaller vessels. In addition, the ship is equipped with four 30mm guns and six miniguns, which are high-speed 7.62mm guns with a firing rate ranging from 2,800 to 6,000 rounds per minute.
On board, there is also incredibly advanced electronics, from long-range and medium-range radar to a full range of sensors and other solutions for electronic warfare. In short, the HMS Queen Elizabeth and its sister ship, the HMS Prince of Wales, are currently the most powerful surface warships in the Royal Navy and units that are arguably envied by every army in the world, except perhaps the US Navy.