Queen Elizabeth II christens the HMS Queen Elizabeth

7 Jul

On July 4, 2014, as the Red Arrows, the RAF acrobatic flying team, and a squadron of military helicopters flew over the Rosyth dockyards in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth II christened the HMS Queen Elizabeth. The Duke of Edinburgh(Lord High Admiral since 2011), Admiral George Zambellas(First Sea Lord), David Cameron and Gordon Brown(the current and former Prime Ministers respectfully), Alex Salmond(First Minister of Scotland) and senior naval officers from the United States and France joined Queen Elizabeth II for the festivities. During the ceremony the Queen broke a bottle of whiskey, instead of champagne, over the bow of the aircraft carrier and named it after Queen Elizabeth I, the 16th century monarch and daughter of King Henry VIII.
“May God bless her and all who sail in her,” Queen Elizabeth said. She then added, “In sponsoring this new aircraft carrier, I believe the Queen Elizabeth will be a source of inspiration and pride for us all.”
The 920 foot-long aircraft carrier is the first of the Queen Elizabeth class. When it is ready for service in 2020 she will be the home of up to 1,600 military personal. The enormous vessel will alse have a capacity of 40 aircraft including the Lockheed-Martin F35 Lightning II fighter, the AgustaWestland AW101 Merlin helicopter, Boeing’s Chinook helicopter and the AgustaWestland Apache helicopter. It will be armed with a radar-guided 20mm(0.79in.) Gatling gun on a swivel base known as the Phalanx CIWS (close in weapon system) and a compliment of 30mm guns and mini-guns. The behemoth will be powered by two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines and four diesel generators that will give the HMS Queen Elizabeth a top speed of 25 knots (28.8mph).
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