Aft island lifted into place on HMS Queen Elizabeth

Some of the 14 P2000 naval ships and three coastal forces heritage trust vessels that took part in exercises in the Solent this week

Armada takes to the sea

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SHIPBUILDERS gathered to watch as the aft island of HMS Queen Elizabeth was lifted into place today.

The island, which houses the ship’s air traffic control equipment, was lowered onto the flight deck of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier.

It is the final section of HMS Queen Elizabeth to arrive at the Rosyth assembly site.

It was built in 90 weeks by workers at the BAE Systems shipyard in Scotstoun.

The forward island, which is already in place, was built in Portsmouth.

Programme director Ian Booth said: ‘Moving this section into place is a momentous occasion for the programme.

‘HMS Queen Elizabeth now has a completely unique and distinctive profile and thanks to the dedication of thousands of workers just a few sections remain to be assembled.

‘She will be structurally complete by the end of this year.’

HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will be based in Portsmouth, is the first aircraft carrier to use an innovative design of two islands.

The forward island houses the ship’s bridge.

The aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a partnership between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the UK Ministry of Defence.

As the 750-tonne island settled onto the flight deck, it sealed into place a plaque positioned underneath it.

The plaque contains the emblems of the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Army.

It will remain part of the fabric of the warship for its entire life.

Handing the plaque over to the Aircraft Carrier Alliance were Captain Dickie Payne of the Royal Navy, Colonel Stuart Barnard of the Army Air Corps and Group Captain David Bradshaw of the Royal Air Force.

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