As of September 2013, the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS “Queen Elizabeth” was 80 percent complete.
As of September 2013, the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS “Queen Elizabeth” was 80 percent complete. Her launch is expected for the summer of 2014. As to the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (a partnering relationship between BAE Systems Surface Ships, THALES UK, Babcock, and the UK MoD), she will then be fitted out and handed over to the Navy in early 2017. “We expect HMS “Queen Elizabeth” to be handed over to the Navy in early 2017 for sea trials. We expect to take delivery of our first test aircraft in July of this year, and we expect the first [F-35] production aircraft to be delivered to us in 2016, with flying from the Queen Elizabeth to begin in 2018, after her sea trials are complete”, said Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, in the House of Commons on 10 May 2012. He further stated that an “operational military capability” will be achieved in 2020. Meanwhile, the S1850M radar antenna (the same as fitted to the Type 45 destroyers) has been mounted on top of her superstructure. The radar that was delivered by BAE Systems and THALES can track up to 1,000 contacts up to a range of 215nm (400km) from the ship. Also, the company has commenced integration trials of its ARTISAN 3D Type 997 radar that will provide the carrier with an extensive air traffic control and a medium-range tactical picture capability. These trials will test a series of integrated systems to include the provision of 3D air surveillance, target identification, and air traffic management services for the ship.