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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 July 2007, 17:36 GMT 18:36 UK
Huge capacity of super carriers
Computer-generated image of one of the carriers (Crown Copyright/MOD 2007)
The vessels will carry up to 1,450 personnel
They will weigh more than 32,500 average cars and be capable of carrying enough fuel to take those cars to the moon and back a dozen times.

The 65,000-tonne aircraft carriers which have been ordered by the Ministry of Defence will be the largest vessels ever sailed by the Royal Navy.

The new vessels - to be called HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales - will carry up to 1,450 personnel each.

Those personnel will be fed and watered by 67 catering staff, who will be able to serve the entire crew in the 90 minutes it takes for a game of football.

The vessels' flight decks will be size of three football pitches or 49 tennis courts, while the hangars will be equivalent to 12 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

In total, the carriers will be similar in size and weight to the QE2 ocean liner.

Their height from keel to masthead will make them 6m taller than Nelson's Column.

Nelson's Column
The ship will be taller than Nelson's Column

They will be able to carry 36 Joint Strike Fighters and four Airborne Early Warning aircraft, with a combined weight of more than 1,000 tonnes.

The aircraft carriers will carry more than 8,600 tonnes of fuel to support the ship and the aircraft - enough for those 12 car journeys to the moon and back.

The diesel generators which will power the vessels will be able to produce enough energy to run a town the size of Swindon.

The ships will be able to carry more than 1,000 tonnes of food - enough to feed the crew for six weeks.

The two bronze propellers on each vessel will each weigh 33 tonnes, making them more than twice as heavy as a double decker bus. The anchors will weigh in at 13 tonnes.

However, the vessels are still dwarfed by their US Navy equivalents.

The USS Nimitz weighs in at 95,000 tonnes and carries a complement of 5,500 sailors.

Aircraft carrier graphic




SEE ALSO
MoD confirms £3.8bn carrier order
25 Jul 07 |  Scotland

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