Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier powers up for first time

carrier Image copyright BAE Systems

HMS Queen Elizabeth's huge diesel generators have been powered up for the first time at the home of the UK's aircraft carrier programme in Rosyth.

The move brings the 65,000-tonne future flagship of the Royal Navy closer to becoming an operational warship.

The first of the ship's four generators was officially started by defence procurement minister Philip Dunne.

The warship is due to be handed over to the Ministry of Defence in 2016 ahead of being put into service in 2020.

Work is already under way on a second aircraft carrier, HMS Prince Of Wales.

Image copyright Crown copyright 2015
Image caption Graphic of main diesel generator installation

Both warships are being built by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a partnership between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the Ministry of Defence.

HMS Queen Elizabeth's diesel generator sets will provide sufficient electrical power to drive the ship at cruise speeds. However, when higher speed is required, two gas turbine alternators will also be used.

Together they will produce 109MW of power - enough to power a medium-sized town.

Mr Dunne said: "It is a real pleasure to be back in Scotland, home of the UK's shipbuilding industry, to witness the impressive progress that is being made on our new aircraft carriers.

"Powering up the diesel generator today marks an important milestone on the journey to bring these highly versatile ships into service with our Armed Forces."

Image copyright Crown copyright 2015
Image caption Defence procurement minister Philip Dunne officially started the first of the ship's four generators

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