The UK Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class (QE) aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth has moved closer to becoming operational with the start of the first of its four generators.
UK Minister of State Defence Procurement Philip Dunne officially started the diesel generator at the home of the UK’s aircraft carrier programme in Rosyth, Scotland.
The diesel generators will offer sufficient electrical power to drive the ship at cruise speeds. The vessel will use two gas turbine alternators for higher speed.
Dunne said: "Powering up the diesel generator today marks an important milestone on the journey to bring these highly versatile ships into service with our Armed Forces.
"They will be the largest, most capable and effective surface warships ever constructed in the UK."
HMS Queen Elizabeth has undergone months of preparation work by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) for this achievement.
The navy is expected to begin sea trials for the carrier in August 2016, followed by commissioning in May 2017.
The 300m-long vessel will boost sustained operations, and has an air-wing of up to 40 aircraft, in addition to AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin HM2 multi-role rotorcraft and Merlin HC4 amphibious support helicopters.
With room for 12 fully equipped aircraft servicing points, the carrier can also house up to 24 F-35s on its flightdeck and will be manned by 679 people.
HMS Prince Of Wales is also almost half complete, with the forward island that forms the iconic carrier shape of the vessel installed in May.
The 30,000t carrier is expected to reach initial operating capability in 2023.
Image: Diesel generator on board HMS Queen Elizabeth. Photo: courtesy of UKMinistry of Defence, Defence Equipment and Support / Crown copyright.