Royal Navy’s two most powerful ships spotted hiding from marine trackers

The HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales were photographed moving along the Lyme Bay and Torbay coastline on Tuesday. Neither of the grey warships showed up on Marine tracking websites, but local ship spotters came out in droves with their long lenses.

The Prince of Wales departed from Portsmouth on Monday evening, while HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed from Mina Sulman in Bahrain.

At one point the Prince of Wales landed a Merlin-class submarine hunting helicopter, which then took off in the direction of Plymouth, reports Devon Live.

The Royal Navy aircraft carrier and Combat Vessel was built in 2019, with a length overall (LOA) of 282.9 metres and a width of 69 metres.

Its sister ship, the Queen Elizabeth’s flight deck is 280m long and 70m wide – enough space for nearly three football pitches.

The aircraft carrier, which is the older of the two, is set to become the UK’s next fleet flagship.

The ship is the second in the Royal Navy to be named Queen Elizabeth. A ship of the same name was planned in the 1960s but was never constructed.

Whereas the Prince of Wales is the seventh ship to carry the name, with the first being launched in 1765.

Each Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier has a total of 16 decks, comprising of nine decks from the hull to the flight deck and a further seven in each of the two islands.

Both have a total crew of 679, increasing to around 1,600 when a full complement of F-35B jets and Crowsnest helicopters are embarked.

The Queen Elizabeth-class carriers each have two 33-tonne propellers, designed to deliver around 50,000 horsepower each.

The aircraft carriers weigh 65,000 tonnes and have a top speed of 25 knots.

The project to build HMS Queen Elizabeth and sister ship HMS Prince of Wales cost more than £6bn, according to Forces Net.

The Queen Elizabeth-class ships are the Royal Navy’s first aircraft carriers to be built since HMS Ark Royal was scrapped in 2010.

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