04 07 2014 10 00


  • The government’s Strategic Defence Review highlighted the country’s future requirement for aircraft carriers to replace the Invincible Class.
  • Initial gate was agreed.
  • Design of initial concepts for the new class of aircraft carrier began.
  • The decision was taken that the new aircraft carriers would operate Joint Combat Aircraft using the Short Take-Off & Vertical Landing (STOVL) option.
  • Delta design for a ship of 283m was agreed and the more detailed design process began.
  • The original Aircraft Carrier Team was formed, made up of BAE Systems, the UK Ministry of Defence and Thales UK.
  • The Aircraft Carrier Alliance was created and the original team was expanded to include Babcock and VT.
  • The first of two Main Gate agreements was reached in December of this year.
  • The demonstration contract was placed and the Memorandum of Understanding for the project was signed.
  • The second Main Gate agreement was signed.
  • The contract to build the QE Class was signed by Baroness Taylor of Bradford, the then Ministry for Defence Equipment and Support on behalf of the MoD and Alan Johnston of BAE Systems on behalf of the ACA.
  • HRH the Princess Royal cut first steel for the hull of the first aircraft carrier, the Queen Elizabeth.
  • The tier two ship yards, A&P Tyne and Cammell Laird signed contracts for work on the programme.
  • A&P Tyne began work on the hull of the first ship.
  • Rolls Royce delivered the first set of stabilisers for the Queen Elizabeth.
  • £333M worth of subcontracts are awarded to companies across the UK for work on the programme.
  • Work on the Number One Dock in Rosyth, now the largest dry dock in the UK is completed.
  • The first steel was cut in Portsmouth for Lower Block two.
  • The aircraft lifts for ship one are completed at Rosyth.
  • Work begins on the flight deck of the first ship on Tyneside.
  • Wartsilla delivers the first set of diesel generators to Portsmouth.
  • The first set of propellers are completed.
  • Babcock completes the first major unit, the bulbous bow for the first ship, and transports it by ocean going barge from Appledore in Devon to Rosyth in Fife.
  • The contract for the massive storage facility is awarded to Wincanton.
  • Cammell Laird commences their part of the build programme, signalling the return of ship building to Merseyside following a ten year absence.
  • Sponson 11 is completed in Rosyth.
  • The MT30 engines are successfully tested.
  • The ARTISAN Medium Range Radar demonstrator antenna was successfully installed on the Coronet building at Cowes in readiness for the QEC Mission Systems Radar and Pole-Mast trials.
  • The Goliath crane is delivered to Rosyth and its assembly begins.
  • First steel is cut for the second aircraft carrier, Prince of Wales.
  • In Govan, the first half of the super block, Lower Block 3 was moved from its build area to join up with the second half.
  • At Rosyth, the Goliath Crane was fully assembled and commissioned.
  • The first sections of the flight deck arrive in Rosyth from Tyneside.
  • The first major block to be transported, Lower Block 03, was manoeuvred on to an ocean going barge to make its journey round the north of Scotland to Rosyth.
  • The Goliath Crane makes its first successful lift, lifting the flight deck sections (CB03) into LB03 in the assembly dock in Rosyth.
  • The first Sponson units are erected onto the block.
  • The super block constructed in Portsmouth will be transported to Rosyth.
  • The first section of the flight deck being constructed in Merseyside will arrive in Rosyth.
  • The largest super block, Lower Block 4, will be completed and transported from Govan to Rosyth.
  • HMS Queen Elizabeth’s forward section integrated with LB04.
  • CB04 flight deck sections integrated.
  • Aft sections lifted into place.
  • Delivery and installation of forward island from Portsmouth to Rosyth.
  • Delivery and installation of aft island from Scotstoun to Rosyth.
  • Full extent of HMS Queen Elizabeth revealed for the first time.
  • Integration of all hull and island sections.
  • HMS Queen Elizabeth’s hull completed and the entire ship floated for the first time.
  • Integration work nears completion.
  • HMS Queen Elizabeth begins sea trials.
  • The first aircraft carrier will be handed over to the MoD on behalf of the Royal Navy and the UK Armed Forces.
  • First fast jet (F-35B) flights from HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Delivered by Investis (opens in a new window)