Aircraft carrier section ready for loading onto Clyde barge

Carrier section being moved The section of aircraft carrier was manoeuvred from its shed on Sunday morning

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An 11,000-tonne section of aircraft carrier has been moved in preparation to leave its Clyde construction yard.

It took about two-and-a-half hours to shift the largest hull section of HMS Queen Elizabeth out of BAE's shipbuilding hall at Govan on Sunday.

It will be loaded onto a huge sea-going barge on Tuesday in preparation for its 600-mile journey to the Rosyth dockyard in Fife.

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Carrier section being moved

Imagine an aircraft carrier as a 65,000-tonne jigsaw puzzle and you have got a good idea of the scale of the building of HMS Queen Elizabeth”

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When it reaches its destination it will be joined to other carrier sections.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will be based in Portsmouth, is one of two aircraft carriers being delivered for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) by BAE Systems, Thales UK and Babcock.

The 11,000-tonne aft section of hull, known as Lower Block 04, stands more than 80m (262ft) long and 40m (131ft) wide.

It houses two main engine rooms, a hospital complex, dentist, galley and accommodation including 242 berths.

It will take five days for it to travel round the coastline to Rosyth in early November.

When assembly is completed, HMS Queen Elizabeth will be a 280m (919ft) long carrier capable of deploying up to 40 Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft.

The ship will not be finished until 2016 at the earliest, and may not be ready for active service until 2020.

The carrier project is one of the largest defence orders placed in the UK, with a price tag of £5bn.

Work on the Queen Elizabeth's sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, is also under way at Govan.

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