The 65,000-tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier will be the largest ship ever built by the Royal Navy and the second biggest supercarrier in the world.
HMS Queen Elizabeth will be formally named by the Queen on Friday, when she will smash a bottle of whisky against it at Rosyth in Fife, where the aircraft carrier has been assembled and fitted out.
Ahead of this ceremony, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord and chief of the naval staff, has said that having two carriers rather than one – a topic still up for debate ahead of next year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) – would ensure continuous availability and the cost was “a modest extra premium to pay” for an “effective, credible, available, insurance policy”.
“Credibility also hinges on a carrier being available when the need arises,” he said. “Hope is not a reliable method of ensuring capability availability when a crisis erupts. That is why we need the effects of a UK carrier – it’s the wrong moment to find out that nothing happens when you push the carrier button.
“So to ensure continuous carrier availability that means having two carriers, not one – a decision for government in next year’s SDSR of course, but this is a modest extra premium to pay, for an effective, a credible, an available, insurance policy.”
E&T news covered this Royal Navy aircraft carrier story in full today.
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