On Friday 4th July, Her Majesty the Queen officially named the UK’s newest aircraft carrier at Rosyth, near Edinburgh, in a spectacular ceremony celebrating British naval capability.

Recognising the strategic importance of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, the Prime Minister, Secretary of State for Defence and First Sea Lord joined the celebrations, along with allies from around the world and more than 3,500 people involved in the design and construction of the largest warship ever built in the UK. Among them were Lee Wrangles, McGeoch Technology’s Commercial Manager, who has headed the Birmingham-based company’s team responsible for the design and supply of the ships lighting, control & instrumentation and distribution panels.

The event marked the first time in more than 15 years that the Queen has christened a Royal Navy warship and in time honoured tradition, Her Majesty gave her blessing as a bottle of finest Scotch whisky shattered against her hull.

The naming ceremony for HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH marks the structural completion of the 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier. She will be floated out of the dock later this month and berthed in the basin, where teams will continue to outfit the ship and steadily bring her systems to life in preparation for sea trials in 2016. Meanwhile, teams across the UK are continuing the construction of her sister ship HMS PRINCE OF WALES. The bow section has already arrived at Rosyth and the first major hull section will be delivered from Glasgow at the end of July. Final assembly of HMS PRINCE OF WALES will begin in September in the dock vacated by HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH.

aircraft carriers HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH

The aircraft carriers HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and HMS 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.

McGeoch Technology has supplied over 12,000 lighting units for the ship together with 300 control & instrumental panels and a further 300 electrical distribution panels. The company secured the contract for both ships back in 2010 and will complete supply by the end of 2015.

HMS Queen Elizabeth

Some interesting facts about the latest addition to the British Royal Navy fleet …

  • The ship weighs 65,000 tonnes. It is 56 metres tall and 280 metres long, greater than three football pitches.
  • Initially, the ship will have a crew of 679 although it has capacity for 1,600.
  • 72 jet sorties per day are routinely possible.
  • The highly mechanised weapons handling system uses a network of moles to retrieve munitions from around the ship and deliver them to the flight deck.
  • 500 tonnes of fresh water can be produced from sea water each day.
  • The ship’s stores can carry enough food for 1,600 personnel for more than 45 days at sea. 40 chefs will cook on board.
  • Among the food stores are 64,800 eggs, 28,800 rashers of bacon, 66,000 sausages and 12,000 tins of baked beans.
  • The ship’s bakery can produce 1,000 loaves of bread each day.