As Britain’s largest ever warship, it’s been an anxious and exciting wait for the launch of HMS Queen Elizabeth as it finally left its dockyard in Rosyth to head out for sea trials. The 65,000 ton aircraft carrier squeezed through an exit with only 14 inch clearance on either side. After nearly a decade-long build, this marks the latest milestone for the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class carriers, which have cost more than £6 billion pounds, the other being HMS Prince of Wales. One of the Royal Navy’s warships will be escorting HMS Queen Elizabeth while its commanders try out the North Sea and Moray Firth. Shore-based helicopters will also be on the lookout for any submarines trying to sneak a peek at Britain’s new warship. 1,000 sailors and contractors will be aboard testing the vessel for the next six weeks. 650 doors and hatches on the vessel have been checked for fire safety and to check they are water tight. Multiple crew members have spent hours carrying out training for fires, flooding and overboard personnel. The Royal Navy had not had an aircraft carrier since 2010 when HMS Ark Royal was scrapped. HMS Queen Elizabeth will not be sent on operations until 2021. The ship will move to its new home in Portsmouth after the summer where trials for planes and helicopters will take place the following summer. The flight deck on the aircraft carrier can carry up to 36 F-35B stealth jump jets. We stock the HMS Queen Elizabeth Ship Crests and Cap Tallies on our website. To view them click here.
Did you watch the HMS Ocean documentary ‘Warship’ on Channel 4? The show captures Britain’s biggest warship as it sails to the Gulf to lead the US Naval Combined Task Force 50. HMS Ocean is now 20 years old and weighs up to 28,000 tons. The fleet flagship of the Royal Navy was launched into sea in October 1995 and has a capacity of 40 vehicles and 830 Marines. She is designed to support amphibious landing operations and to support the staff of Commander UK Amphibious Force and Commander UK Landing Force. The ship can carry up to six Apache AH1 helicopters operated by the Army Air Corps as well as helicopters for the RAF. HMS Ocean is also capable of limited anti-submarine warfare activities, supporting afloat training and acting as a base facility for other embarked forces including counter-terrorism units. HMS Ocean is described as a ‘floating village’ with a hospital, bank, gym, pubs and shops on board to accommodate its staff. The documentary follows the ship as it embarks on its seven month deployment. This mission makes HMS Ocean the first UK ship to lead a US task force in the Middle East. 130 enthusiastic newbies are among the crew recorded and the programme shows their first seafaring adventure. HMS Ocean is due to be decommissioned next year after twenty years of service and currently there is no replacement. We stock the HMS Ocean Ship Crest and Cap Tally. View them here. We also stock Royal Navy qualification badges. View them here.