U.K.'s new aircraft carrier comes together like a giant Lego kit

After selling off several older carriers, Great Britain has begun building their next generation replacements, starting with the HMS Queen Elizabeth. Too big to build all in once place, the ship is actually being build all over the U.K., and then assembled like a bunch of Lego bricks.

The Queen Elizabeth is going to be the largest aircraft carrier Britain has ever built, but it's still going to be only about two-thirds as large as the U.S.'s Nimitz class carrier. To put it all together, pieces will be constructed at six different shipyards around Britain, and then sent by barge to a single assembly point where a giant crane, specially shipped in from China, will stick everything together until the ship is finished.


Unlike its predecessors, the Queen Elizabeth won't be home to a squadron of Harriers, but instead will initially field 12 F-35 Lightning IIs (the carrier version, not the VTOL version), although it can hold up to 36 aircraft. At a cost of about £5 billion, the carrier won't likely be ready for action until 2020 or so.


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