100,000 tons of U.S. firepower too big todock at Portsmouth: Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt anchors offHampshire coast after arriving into UK for five-day visit
She weighs in at an impressive 100,000 tonsand is longer than The Shard is tall.
And today the mammoth USS TheodoreRoosevelt was anchored just off the coast of Hampshire because she was simply'too big' to sail into the Royal Navy's historic Portsmouth dockyard.
Thousands of stunned spectators jammedroads and lined the banks of the River Solent to welcome the 1,092ft-long floating city asit arrived for a five-day visit to the UK on the first stop of a globaldeployment.
While a debate rages in the UK over the Government's failure to commit to theNato target of spending two per cent of GPD on defence, the Roosevelt is apotent symbol of American military might.
With 90 aircraft on board, the ship canoperate for up to 25 years at over unlimited distances, projecting US air poweraround the globe.
She can go three months without resupplyand her two giant nuclear reactor generate enough power for a small city.
One social media user wrote: 'Most shipsget measures in metres, this one comes in acres!'
And with more than 5,000 American sailors due to disembark from thenuclear-powered aircraft carrier for shore leave while it is moored in StokesBay, Gosport, the local economy is set for an estimated ￡1.5million boost.
The city's bars, clubs, restaurants andvisitor attractions are bracing themselves for a massive footfall when thesailors hit dry land during their ship's five-day visit.
The mighty ship, which is making its firstport of call during a round-the-world deployment, is much larger than the RoyalNavy's next generation of carriers, The Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth,which weigh in at 65,000 tonnes when they finally become operational.
Among Roosevelt's crew are six Royal Navyaircraft handlers who are honing their skills before serving aboard the newRoyal Navy carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, which enters service in 2017.
The carrier's escort ship, the guidedmissile destroyer Winston S Churchill, was able to dock at Portsmouth.
She traditionally carries a UK navigator tohonour the ship's British connection with the post currently held by27-year-old Lieutenant Lynsey Sewell.