HMS Queen Elizabeth is the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth class of aircraft carriers, the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom and capable of carrying up to 60 aircraft. She is named in honour of the first Queen Elizabeth, a renowned World War I era super-dreadnought, which in turn was named after Queen Elizabeth I. The new Queen Elizabeth will carry her namesake’s honours, as well as her Tudor rose-adorned crest and motto. The ship began sea trials in June 2017, and was commissioned on 7 December 2017. Her first Commanding Officer is Commodore Jerry Kyd, who had previously commanded the carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Illustrious. As Captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Kyd will wear the Royal Navy rank of Captain while retaining the substantive rank of Commodore.
Queen Elizabeth has no catapults or arrestor wires and is instead designed to operate V/STOL aircraft; the air wing will typically consist of F-35B Lightning II multirole fighters and Merlin helicopters for airborne early warning and anti-submarine warfare. The design emphasises flexibility, with accommodation for 250 Royal Marines and the ability to support them with attack helicopters and large troop transports such as Chinooks. She is the second Royal Navy vessel to bear the name Queen Elizabeth and is based at HMNB Portsmouth.Share: