The U.K. has been excited about a new Royal Navy ship called the HMS Queen Elizabeth II — but is there a reason it is still docked and no one wants to work there?
This ship is worth £3 billion ($3.75 billion) and will put Her Majesty’s military on the map because the HMS Queen Elizabeth is being called one of the most extraordinary military ships ever built by the Royal Navy.
The HMS Queen Elizabeth is also a signal that the U.K. is returning to their long-time aircraft carrier history.
According to National Interest, other great ships of the Royal Navy with long careers that came before the HMS Queen Elizabeth include the Royal Navy’s three “super battleships” built around 1915 such as the HMS Courageous, HMS Glorious, and HMS Furious.
Each of the ships were some of the first to be converted into aircraft carriers around 1925, and became important in World War II.
Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Navy have been a legend around the world for centuries, and the U.S. military still heavily relies on help from the U.K. in resolving military conflicts.
For example, although it will be retired in 2018 once the HMS Queen Elizabeth is ready for action, the HMS Ocean is still in operation in the Middle East, according to Stripes — yet, it lacks a key capability.
Namely, the HMS Queen Elizabeth will replace the HMS Ocean because it is not capable of delivering air strikes.
Despite the importance of the ship, the debut of the HMS Queen Elizabeth has been delayed, and the problems for this delay may not be what is expected.
For example, earlier in 2017, Daily Mail reported that the £3 billion HMS Queen Elizabeth was having technical issues. Although this may be expected for a technologically advanced ship of this type, the HMS Queen Elizabeth also recently revealed they are having a secondary issue.
It was reported soon after that a second reason the HMS Queen Elizabeth was not currently in action was due to a staffing shortage.
In fact, the HMS Queen Elizabeth is allegedly so desperate for staff that they are offering soldiers a chance to switch to the Royal Navy. Included in the package is “no line combat” and a “three-day week.”
Express also reported that the staffing department of the Royal Navy was pleading with ex-sailors to come back to work on ships like the HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Labor shortages with the Royal Navy extend far beyond the HMS Queen Elizabeth issues. For example, a February 16 report from Plymouth Herald suggests that the Royal Navy canceled a military air show event — similar to America’s Blue Angels — because of staff shortages.
Once it has been shown off to the public, the HMS Queen Elizabeth will begin active duty in the Royal Navy. SLD Info explains the HMS Queen Elizabeth will be employed in the Middle East and an aircraft team from the Merlin training facility will join them.
Although Merlin is an exciting aspect about the launch of this military ship, the new aviation team associated with the HMS Queen Elizabeth is not expected to be ready to join full-time operations until 2020.
However, some feel that the HMS Queen Elizabeth should be the last military ship of its kind. For example, in an opinion piece published in Scotsman in 2017, one British citizen states that the U.K. can no longer afford to spend money on the military the way it has on the HMS Queen Elizabeth.
In particular, it was cited that “the latest annual equipment plan shows the cost of military kit is set to rise by 20 over the next decade, to £82 billion.”
This concern was also raised in 2014, according to Reuters, when the original plan for the HMS Queen Elizabeth was first estimated at 6.2 billion pounds ($10.6 billion).
Outside of its use in the military, engineers and others that are enthusiastic about technologically advanced watercraft know that the U.K. has history of great ships — and HMS Queen Elizabeth is set to impress with all the latest gadgetry.
Despite the delays, Leigh Times says that the latest HMS Queen Elizabeth news states that it will be available for tourists in the U.K. starting in late 2017.
[Featured Image by Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]