HMS Queen Elizabeth

UK Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class (QE) aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, has been fitted with large long range radar.

With the installation of main radar antenna onto the forward island, the aircraft carrier’s main structure blocks are now in place.

Designed to provide a three dimensional and long-range picture, the radar can track up to 1,000 contacts up to a range of 400km from the vessel.

Recently, HMS Queen Elizabeth has been fitted with final ramp section of the flight deck, at the Rosyth shipyard, Scotland.

The 64m-long and 13m-wide ramp section, which will allow jet aircraft to take off from the ship, is the final exterior piece of the aircraft carrier to be integrated.

Queen Elizabeth-class carriers will have a full-load displacement capacity of 65,000t, an operational range of 10,000nm and can carry up to 40 aircraft.

"The radar can track up to 1,000 contacts up to a range of 400km from the vessel."

Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA), a joint venture between Babcock Thales, BAE Systems and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), is constructing these two new aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince Of Wales.

Powered by two Rolls-Royce Marine 36MW MT30 gas turbine alternators, the carriers can accommodate a crew of 1,200, including an aircrew of 600.

Expected to be structurally complete next year, HMS Queen Elizabeth is scheduled to commence sea trials in 2017, followed by Lightning II aircraft flight trials in 2018.

HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince Of Wales are expected to be operational with the Royal Navy in 2016 and 2018 respectively, replacing the Invincible-class vessels.

Image: HMS Queen Elizabeth being fitted with main radar. Photo: courtesy of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance.

Defence technology