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Brits launch new aircraft carrier

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Today, Flight Global announced the floating out of the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth from the Rosyth dockyard in Scotland.

The carrier is the largest ever operated by the UK, and weighs in at 65,000t.

She will continue to be outfitted for the next two years in preparation for her sea trials which commence in 2016.

Once completed she will embark a flight of Merlin Helicopters as well as her main weapon the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

It had originally been hoped that this aircraft would be present for the official Royal naming ceremony which took place on July 4, but owing to technical difficulties following an engine fire on one of the test aircraft, the entire fleet was grounded as a precaution..

The BBC reported that the Queen while addressing the audience stated the "innovative and first class warship, ushered in an exciting new era"

HMS Queen Elizabeth will eventually be joined by a sister ship HMS Prince of Wales.

The cost of both vessels is $11.3 billion, which is well over the original projected cost of $6.64 billion.

The ships are as long as 25 school buses, and can embark as many as 40 aircraft and helicopters at a time.

During natural disasters the ships can also be used as command and control centres for coordinating relief efforts, as both feature extensive medical facilities.

Also with a crew of 1600 personnel each, there is plenty of manpower available to assist humanitarian efforts onshore, should the need arise.

Both ships will be very welcome by the Royal Navy, as they offer a significant increase in combat capabilities for the UK.

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