The Royal Navy’s future flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed from her homeport of Portsmouth Naval Base for the first time this week, embarking on her second set of sea trials off the southern coast of England.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to be at sea for the next month and will be delivered to the Royal Navy by the end of the year.
During her first phase of sea trials, conducted earlier this year, the Royal Navy demonstrated the platform stability and manoeuvrability of the giant aircraft carrier. “She was stable and strong, which is important for aviation operations from an aircraft carrier flight deck,” Commanding Officer, Captain Jerry Kyd, said of the trials.
“Very quickly we were able to run her at full power and she performed extremely well.”
During this second phase of sea trials trials, the Queen Elizabeth already rendevoused with the Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon. Once commissioned, Type 45 destroyers will provide air defense to the aircraft carrier and will sail as part of a carrier task group on operations.
“It’s good to put that skill of making a close approach to the carrier into practice. All of the bridge team feel privileged to have been on the first Type 45 destroyer to have sailed with the nation’s future flagship,” said HMS Dragon’s Navigating Officer Lieutenant Glyn Duffell.
— HMS Queen Elizabeth (@HMSQnlz) November 2, 2017
The 65,000 tonne Queen Elizabeth is the biggest and most advanced warship to have ever been built by the Royal Navy and can accommodate up to 1,600 personnel. The design, build and development of the Queen Elizabeth-Class carriers has involved every region in the UK, including shipyards in six cities across the UK that have constructed sections of the aircraft carriers.
HMS Prince of Wales, the second of the fleet’s new aircraft carriers, is in the final phases of construction in Rosyth Dockyard and is expected to be floated out of its giant dock next spring.
“HMS Queen Elizabeth has been in Portsmouth Naval Base for two months of planned maintenance to allow her to sail to complete her sea trials today,” said Captain of Portsmouth Naval Base, Captain Bill Oliphant.
“This period at sea will mark an extremely significant milestone in the life of the ship leading towards her acceptance into the Royal Navy at her commissioning later this year, back in her home port of Portsmouth.”