All you need to know about HMS Queen Elizabeth, the £3 billion British warship that dwarfs Niagara Falls

Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier - Sea trials.Copyright ACA / John LintonQueen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier sea trials.

On Monday, the HMS Queen Elizabeth cast off for sea trials — her maiden voyage.

The QE Class aircraft carrier took eight years to construct (six years behind schedule) and cost the Royal Navy £3.5 billion. The result, though, is a ship longer than the Houses of Parliament and more powerful than anything in British naval history.

It is equipped to defend, not attack, so comes with the latest Phalanx close-in weapon system, 30mm guns and mini-guns. The ship also has its own police cells and hospital.

An infographic released by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance details the specifications of the boat:

Here are some stats that put the Queen Elizabeth into perspective:

  • The ship’s propellers will output enough power to run 1,000 cars.
  • It’s taller than the Niagara Falls.
  • The flight deck has enough space for three football pitches.
  • The aircraft lifts can move two F-35 fighter jets from hanger to deck in 60 seconds — it could also lift the entire ship’s crew.
  • The onboard power system could boil 300,000 kettles.
  • It has 45 days’ worth of food in its stores.

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