The UK Defence Journal earlier broke the news that HMS Queen Elizabeth will enter Portsmouth earlier than planned, this has now been confirmed by the Royal Navy.
Original plans were to see the supercarrier enter Portsmouth on Friday the 18th of August.
820 Naval Air Squadron will be on board HMS Queen Elizabeth as she sails into her homeport this week.
Sir Michael Fallon had earlier said the 70,600 tonne carrier would have a window for entering Portsmouth starting on the 17th, however an anonymous source has confirmed to us in an exclusive that an earlier date of First Entry for HMS Queen Elizabeth into her homeport of Portsmouth is now the target.
“The reason for the date change has not been given, however the window mentioned by Fallon has shifted and she will now be arriving on Wednesday the 16th August on either the morning or evening tide.
If it is the morning tide this will make the likely time she passes Round Tower into Portsmouth Harbour to be 0700. This is expected to have an impact on the planned celebrations however a good view of her is still expected with good weather along Portsmouth Harbour, Old Portsmouth’s walls and Southsea seafront.”
The Royal Navy have now confirmed this news.
“Britain’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is set to enter her new home in Portsmouth on Wednesday 16 August 2017.
She is now set to make her historic arrival into Portsmouth on Wednesday at approximately 0710 where she will be the latest in a long line of famous Royal Navy ships to call the port home.
Weather conditions meant the exact date of the historic moment could not be confirmed until today.”
HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently making her way South through the Irish Sea.
— Royal Navy (@RoyalNavy) August 14, 2017
In preparation for HMS Queen Elizabeth becoming operational, more than 60 personnel have been fighting a series of high tempo warfighting challenges as part of a NATO maritime exercise off the coast of Scotland. Embedded within the Nimitz class US carrier USS George H.W. Bush the UK personnel were working with their US counterparts to hone their carrier strike skills ahead of the arrival of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The war games, called Exercise Saxon Warrior, had seen the Commander of the UK Carrier Strike Group Commodore Andrew Betton and his team direct jets, firepower and personnel across the task group for ten days to ensure full readiness for the UK’s own carrier strike capability.
Strike Warfare Commander Colonel Phil Kelly Royal Marine said:
“We have been working with the US for a few weeks now and they are doing a really good job of helping us train in bringing our skill set up so that when we do bring in our aircraft carrier and join that up with our aircraft then we can do it in a much more effective manner because we have seen how the experts do it.”