There is nothing easy about building a world-class state of the art aircraft carrier, nothing. Her original ‘ready-for-sea-date’ was 28th May 2017 but with that timing being missed focus has turned onto ensuring it doesn’t slip further and further.
‘The Telegraph’ reported earlier last week that “The Navy’s new aircraft carrier is facing a morale crisis…. as sailors ‘abandon ship’ because they are bored.”
But a navy spokesman denied morale is low on the ship and said the retirement rate is “absolutely in line with the fleet average”. “Are the sailors working hard? Yes, and they are very proud of their ship. Morale is high. We’re all very upbeat and determined to get HMS Queen Elizabeth ready to sail in the summer.”
This week has seen the crew move on board as they begin to initiate the testing phase of all the systems. This is a requirement of any ship before it goes to sea and is normally known as ‘Fast-Cruise’. Not only does it identify faults it also provides training to the crew for serials such as damage control, dealing with intruders and internal floods that reassures command that both the ship and the crew are ready for active service.
“On a ship that’s just been built this is bound to take longer as problems or technical difficulties are resolved” said one of the new crew who has moved in this week.
“The ship is made up of 17 million components, chances are it’s not all going to be in sync yet, but it will be soon”.
With accommodation split over 470 cabins and consisting of 1,600 bunks it can carry an entire embarked unit of Royal Marine Commandos. Although that sounds like a lot to put that in perspective The United States Navy took delivery of the USS Gerald R Ford last month that between 25 decks can house over 5000 personal. Click Here for more information about the ship.
Trials are considered to last right through July and if all successful she will appear in Portsmouth alongside the newly named ‘Princess Royal Jetty’ in the Autumn.
Her Commanding Officer, Captain Jerry Kyd RoyalNavy, said:
“The effort from our industry colleagues, Ministry of Defence and Naval personnel to get us to this point has been immense. It has been a massive team effort and I am proud of every individual contribution.”