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HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08)
Organisation / Units & Squadrons

HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08)

One of the most powerful surface warships ever constructed in the UK, HMS Queen Elizabeth forms part of the Royal Navy‘s two-strong fleet of Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

HMS Queen Elizabeth


HMS Queen Elizabeth is an investment in Britain’s security, prosperity and place in the world. She will provide a conspicuous presence on the global stage, sending a clear message of reassurance to our allies, and of defiance to those who would do us harm.

As well as being a powerful deterrent and symbol of British influence, HMS Queen Elizabeth will replace HMS Ocean as the Royal Navy’s Fleet Flagship. As the Fleet’s principal ship, she will carry senior naval staff, receive foreign dignitaries, and act as a command and control centre for the entire Royal Navy.

Aircraft carrier and a helicopter


HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest and most powerful vessel ever constructed for the Royal Navy. This awe-inspiring warship is capable of carrying up to 40 aircraft.

As well as state-of-the-art weaponry and communications systems, HMS Queen Elizabeth boasts five gyms, a chapel and a medical centre.

The flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth comes in at an enormous four acres, and will be used to launch the fearsome new F35 Joint Strike Fighter fast jet. Four fighter jets can be moved from the hangar to the flight deck in just one minute.

The ship’s two propellers weigh 33 tonnes each. The powerplant behind them generates enough power to run 1,000 family cars.

Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier


Led by Captain William King OBE, the ship operates with a crew of approximately 700, increasing to the full complement of 1,600 when aircraft are embarked. 

Between them, this highly trained crew will have an extraordinary range of skills, including but not limited to:

  • Delivering airpower
  • Air traffic control 
  • Hospitality
  • Aircraft operations
  • Communications
  • Maintenance 
  • Patrolling
  • Diplomatic receptions
  • Humanitarian assistance

Unit history

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