Watch Rise of the Supercarrier

An inside look at the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the largest and most powerful warship ever built for Britain's Royal Navy.

Sunday 9:00 PM et/pt on Smithsonian Channel
1 Season, 3 Episodes
October 13, 2019
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Rise of the Supercarrier Full Episode Guide

  • Britain's supercarrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is wrapping up sea trials, but she has a long way to go before being battle-ready. First, she and her crew must test a brand-new fire fighting system, make a dramatic rendezvous with the USS George Bush, and team up with American pilots to train on the top-secret F-35 jet, the most advanced fighter ever built. Finally, she heads to her home port of Portsmouth for an emotional arrival and an appointment with someone no one ever keeps waiting: her royal namesake, Her Majesty the Queen.

  • Britain's largest warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, has left the dockyard and entered the North Sea. With 700 sailors and 200 construction workers on board, she'll be pushed to the limits before deemed ready for combat. With unprecedented access, follow the ship and her crew through six weeks of sea trials and real emergencies, including a potential man overboard, a disturbing sound from under the ship, and an attempt to land an aircraft on the flight deck.

  • Once completed, HMS Queen Elizabeth will be the United Kingdom's largest warship, longer than three football fields and taller than Niagara Falls. But right now, she's months away from being seaworthy and battle ready. She and her crew must pass a series of grueling tests that will push the gargantuan vessel and her sailors to the breaking point. With exclusive and unprecedented access, we follow Captain Jerry Kyd and his 700 sailors as they acclimate themselves to a new life aboard Britain's first supercarrier.

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