HMS Queen Elizabeth: UK’s largest ever warship launched at Rosyth

The Queen has officially named the UK’s largest ever warship, with a bottle of Scotch used instead of the traditional champagne

The largest warship in UK Naval history has been named at Rosyth dockyard today (4 July), with The Queen officially launching the vessel.

However, in a tribute to the Scottish setting, a bottle of Islay single malt whisky was used instead of the traditional champagne.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, as the aircraft carrier has been named, is the largest vessel to ever be launched by the British Navy, at an estimated cost of £6.2 billion.

With an output of 80MW (107,000bhp), she has a range of 10,000 nautical miles and can carry 1,000 troops and 36 F-35 fighter planes on her 280m (900ft) flight deck, which is almost three times the length of Buckingham Palace.

The 72,000-tonne ship was built by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA); a partnership of BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales, and the Ministry of Defence.

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The Queen

said in her naming speech: “She marks a new phase in our naval history, being the largest ship ever built for the Royal Navy.

“She and

the aircraft operating from her deck will also usher in a new era of

cooperation, jointly engaging the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force,

especially the United States and France.

“I believe that this flagship of the Royal Navy will be a source of inspiration for all.”

The official naming ceremony featured a flypast from the Red

Arrows, and other notable guests included Lord High Admiral Prince Philip, Prime Minister David

Cameron, Scottish Minister Alex Salmond, and Leader of the Opposition Ed


Following full integration in 2015, HMS Queen Elizabeth will begin sea trials in 2017 and go into full service in 2018, with an estimated lifespan of 50 years.

For more facts and figures about this remarkable ship, click on the player below:

Or for a potted history of the construction process, watch this Royal Navy documentary:


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