New aerial shots show carrier near completion

HMS Queen Elizabeth being assembled
HMS Queen Elizabeth being assembled
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Dwarfing the buildings around her, HMS Queen Elizabeth is inching closer to completion.

The Aircraft Carrier Alliance has released this new aerial image showing how far the ship has come along.

She is now almost completely assembled, with both of her islands in place.

All that remains to be fitted to the ship are two sponsons – flight deck extensions – and the ramp that gives aircraft their extra boost on take-off.

Ian Booth, the programme director for the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, said: ‘These new images show really clearly how far this programme has come.

‘We are well on the way to delivering a world-class aircraft carrier that will represent the UK globally for the next 50 years.

‘By the end of this year, HMS Queen Elizabeth will be fully assembled and we are already looking forward to her launch in 2014.

‘There are thousands of skilled men and women working on this programme and they should all feel proud of what they are accomplishing.’

When complete and fully fitted out, HMS Queen Elizabeth will weigh in at 65,000 tonnes.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the first of two new aircraft carriers being delivered to the Royal Navy.

Sections of the second carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, are currently under construction at shipyards across the UK including Portsmouth.

Both ships will be based in Portsmouth.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a partnership between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the Ministry of Defence.