Building new aircraft carrier has been a major project

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BUILDING HMS Queen Elizabeth has been a truly colossal project.

A national endeavour, at its peak the programme directly employed 10,000 people across six build yards.

While manufacturing and commissioning is now solely focused in Rosyth, the skilled workforce came from the length and breadth of the UK.

Portsmouth played its part in the building of the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier.

The city’s shipbuilders were responsible for constructing Queen Elizabeth’s forward island, which houses the ship’s bridge.

So far, a staggering 51 million hours have been spent on designing and building the Queen Elizabeth class.

Each of the two carriers is made up of 17 million parts, with 364,000 metres of pipes inside both vessels.

The ships are capable of carrying 36 F-35B Lightning II fighter-jets and four Crowsnest helicopters.

And despite weighing 65,000 tonnes, the carriers can plough through the water at a top speed of about 25 knots.

Inside the carriers’ expansive aircraft hangar there is enough space to fit two of the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates in side by side.

Aircraft can be transferred to and from the hangar by two hydraulic lifts.

And at the push of a button pallets of munitions can be moved from the magazines deep in the weapons preparation area to the flight deck, where they can be loaded on to aircraft.

The flight deck, at 70 metres wide and 280 metres long, is larger than three football pitches.

The vessel will carry enough food to feed all its crew for 45 days.

A network of 220 cameras allow the ship’s crew to monitor key areas including the engine room, hangars and entrance.