Queen to launch HMS Queen Elizabeth II carrier in July

Feb. 13, 2014 at 3:10 AM

FIFE, Scotland, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Queen Elizabeth will launch the Royal Navy's super-carrier named for her in Scotland in the summer.

The 65,000-ton HMS Queen Elizabeth is scheduled for launch at the Rosyth dockyard in Fife in July.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, being built by a consortium of BAE Systems Surface Ships, Thales Group and Babcock Marine, will be the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth-class of aircraft carrier, the largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy and capable of carrying up to forty aircraft.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is to be commissioned in early 2017, with full operational capability from 2020, the Daily Record reported on Wednesday.

Unlike most large U.S. Nimitz-class carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth is not fitted with steam catapults and arresting wires, so the vessel will be restricted to operating vertical takeoff and landing (V/STOL).

HMS Queen Elizabeth's air wing will consist of F-35B Lightning II fighter-bombers and Merlin helicopters for airborne early warning and anti-submarine warfare. HMS Queen Elizabeth will cost $5.1 billion.

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