BRITAIN’S new aircraft carriers will make it a potent force, driving the nation squarely to the top of the maritime elite.
That’s the message given out today by the commanding officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first of the navy’s new breed of super carriers.
Captain Jerry Kyd said he was confident in the abilities of the 65,000-tonne giants, the first of which will arrive in Portsmouth next year.
Currently being built in Rosyth, Scotland, Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales will represent the first ships capable of carrying fighter jets into a warzone since the Harriers were scrapped in 2010.
Capt Kyd said the new vessels will help Britain play a greater role in global security and in the nation’s ability to back – and lead – Nato peacekeeping operations.
He added: ‘The world remains a dangerous and unstable place and it’s important that the British armed forces are sufficiently resourced to be able to do its job on behalf of the British people and the government.’
Both ships will be crewed by about 700 sailors – although will have space for up to 1,600 when fully embarked.
Last week, the National Shipbuilding Strategy, by Sir John Parker, called on the government to commit to building a new frigate fleet to protect the carriers, replacing the ageing Type 23s.
Speaking to The News, Capt Kyd welcomed Sir John’s plea and said he was confident the government would deliver.
‘The Royal Navy has a good plan to make sure that these aircraft carriers are well protected and well resourced when they go on operations,’ he said.
‘Part of that is renewing the frigate fleet. The Type 26 frigates have been announced which are crucial for anti-submarine warfare and also protecting aircraft carriers on operations.’