Aircraft Carriers – what are they for?

Right now there is plenty of imagery and media coverage of the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier project. Discussion is mostly focussed on their size and design, their aircraft, their price and the politics of their construction but often a basic explanation of their function has been lacking. Here we outline the purpose and value of an aircraft carrier.

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Photo essay: First British jets land onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth – Westlant 19 deployment – Part 3

On 13th October the first British-owned jets landed on HMS Queen Elizabeth off the eastern coast of the US. This photo essay covers the arrival of the 4 jets from 17 Squadron and 617 Squadron.

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HMS Prince of Wales leaveS Rosyth

The Royal Navy becomes a two-carrier navy – HMS Prince of Wales sails for the first time

Today the second of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers, HMS Prince of Wales left the dockyard in Rosyth for the first time. The word “milestone” has been used excessively to describe important moments the carrier project but today is another big step forward for a ship that many expected never to see service with the RN.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizabeth sails for the US where she will embark UK-owned Jets for the first time

HMS Queen Elizabeth sails from Portsmouth today for the Westlant19 deployment, taking another step towards achieving full operational capability. Here we look in some detail at the plans for her trip to the US and her future programme.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth F35-B launch

Royal Navy aircraft carrier ski jumps – a history

British inventors have been responsible for many of the innovations that have made carrier aviation possible. The ‘ski jump’ was first developed in the 1970s to enable the Sea Harrier jet to launch more safely and efficiently and is a feature of the new QEC aircraft carriers, helping launch the latest generation of jets. Here we look at the history, design and purpose of the ramp.

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F-35 Munitions Meteor Brimstone ASRAAM

Munitions handling on the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers

In a previous article, we looked at the new jetty being constructed in Scotland for transferring munitions to and from Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers. It is a complex subject but here we make a cursory examination of some of the weapons and their handling arrangements onboard the ships themselves.

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HMS Illustrious Gen Douglas Ammunition Jetty

Upgrades to the Scottish facility used to ammunition the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers

The MoD is about start work on a major upgrade of the Northern Ammunition Jetty in on Loch Long in order to enable the Queen Elizabeth class (QEC) aircraft carriers to load and unload ordnance. Here we look at the jetty project in detail.

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