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The 100-day countdown to the naming of the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier has begun.
Today, 26 March, marks 100 days to go until the historic event and major milestone in the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier programme.
The Queen Elizabeth will be officially named by Her Majesty The Queen in a ceremony at Rosyth on Friday 4 July. The naming of the carrier comes 5 years after the first steel was cut on the ship and only 33 months since the first section entered the dry dock at Rosyth marking the start of her assembly.
Ian Booth, Queen Elizabeth (QE) Class programme director at the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, said:
The excitement around the naming of the Queen Elizabeth continues to grow and the daily countdown will undoubtedly add further momentum to this. We’re working hard to prepare the ship and plan the celebrations which will mark this significant phase in the programme to deliver the nation’s flagships.
Getting to this point is testament to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved in the programme, from the teams across the Aircraft Carrier Alliance to our suppliers in every region of the country.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:
The naming ceremony in July will be a significant step forward for the Royal Navy and industry who have been working hard to make sure HMS Queen Elizabeth is on track to deliver carrier strike capability by 2020.
Combined with the Lightning II aircraft, the QE Class will bolster the Royal Navy’s ability to project power across the world and there is a lot of excitement about the ship nearing completion after years of hard work by thousands of highly skilled workers.
With the vessel now structurally complete, outfitting work continues on the carrier in the lead up to her naming and subsequent ‘flood up’, which will take place in mid-July. Meanwhile, work continues on sections of Queen Elizabeth’s sister ship, the Prince of Wales, at sites across the UK, with assembly at Rosyth beginning later this year.
The aircraft carriers Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a unique partnering relationship between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the Ministry of Defence.
The QE Class will be the centrepiece of Britain’s defence capability for the 21st century. Each 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier will provide the armed forces with a 4-acre military operating base which can be deployed worldwide operating Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II jets and a number of types of helicopter.
The carriers will be versatile enough to be used across the full spectrum of military activity from war-fighting to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.