THE first of more than 3,000 compartments of Britain’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is ready to be crammed with equipment.
With the 65,000-tonne vessel – the largest ever built for the Royal Navy – due to sail later this year, and the ship’s company set to move on board before then, compartments will be transferred to the sailors to turn carrier into a living, breathing, working warship.
The first – 9J – is a logistics compartment, and will serve as a temporary training facility in the short term for damage control officer, Lieutenant commander John Ball.
The section is buried deep inside the warship – eight decks below the flight deck.
The handover comes just a couple of days after the first of the members of the 679-strong ship’s company joined Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister HMS Prince of Wales at the Rosyth dockyard, in Scotland.
Both of the new carriers will be based in Portsmouth when they are completed, with HMS Queen Elizabeth due to arrive in the city in early 2017.
Each of the £3bn behemoths will be able to house 36 F35 Lightning II fighter-bombers as well as a number of helicopters.
Each of the flight decks of the flagship carriers are the size of two football pitches.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is 280 metres long and 56 metres from the bottom of the keel to the top of masthead.
She will be fully operational by 2020.