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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.

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.

CGI of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales berthed in Portsmouth at a specially constructed jetty.

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.”

31 COMMENTS

  1. Alright everyone, lets try keep the comments on topic and not rant at each other. I don’t like my favorite defence site being ruined by interpersonal slagging contests.

  2. Gonna just say this, great ship, superb news. Hopefully we can rebuild the Royal Navy around Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales.

    • This is going to be a game changer for the Royal Navy.
      Just hope the likes of the BBC and Guardian can leave off with the usual anti military stance they normally adopt even for the day.

  3. The RN has been completely useless on PR. Under the bridges in the dark. Into homeport earlier than most people have got out of the shower. Missed opportunities. Why on earth isn’t she going in on Saturday or Sunday?

    • James, It might be the weather forecast. Stronger winds later in the week will make docking a large ship in a narrow channel much more risky – especially on the first run in.

      • Should hold her back, not sneak her in early. Make it a weekend event, with as many escorts as they can muster, and a Red Arrows flypast. Would have probably 20,000 or more on the shore and harbour watching, waiving Union Jacks. Inspire the nation and the next generation of sailors. But the Admirals in the RN have no imagination whatsoever.

  4. It certainly will be a great day. I was hoping to be there, not to be unfortunately…

    I sincerely hope they find the money to properly finance these fine ships and rebuild the Royal Navy around a Carrier Strike core.

    • Not to do her down, I read somewhere recently that in sea trials such a vessel would be expected to exceed her stated top speed – testing meant to push a ship to find it’s absolute limits. In the same way that a plane has a top speed and in testing finds its “never exceed” speed maybe.

      • HMS Montrose and Monmouth are also just pulling out of Plymouth right now – possibly heading to Portsmouth for the occasion? Don’t see why else two ships would leave at the exact same time

      • I’ve got all four of those warships as “out of range” with no tracking for weeks. What are you looking at?

        Somerset has left Plymouth, but just turned West towards Wave Ruler – winch I thought was hooking up with QNLZ but didn’t.

          • As I said, the website was playing up. On closer inspection, it marked their locations as leaving Plymouth and Portsmouth respectively, but their last recorded contact was at the beginning of the month.

            Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if a T45 and T23 or two sail in with her.

          • I wouldn’t be surprised if she came in alone but for three or four tugs and a police boat. The RN’s PR handling of this has been a joke from the moment she left the yard. Could have used tomorrow and the past few weeks to inspire the next generation of sailors.

  5. There is no public transport which gets me into Portsmouth early enough tomorrow. Only locals and drivers are seeing this. This is going to be a damp squib. Good job RN. Not a freaking clue how to engage the public. Under the bridges in the pitch black. Into home port barely after light. Stupid and absurd. Imagine how many tens of thousands would have been there on a summer’s Saturday or Sunday – it would have been close to top of the news bulletins as a national event. Instead a few Admirals will guffaw from their tending boats while the rest of us have a look at the twitter feed later on. *slow hand clap*

    • Couldn’t agree more, this is a pr disaster, it’s exiting for people who have been following her build and who are interested in the forces in general, but a Saturday afternoon with the red arrows would be an event like you said, and inspire many youngsters watching it.

  6. Its 12:23 Tuesday. She is making 28 knots and is between Portland and the Isle of Wight. Next High Tide is between 17:19 and 18:44. What odds she will be in Portsmouth this evening or will she lay up for the big show tomorrow morning?

    As someone said a big PR opportunity being wasted but then she is a warship and getting her ready comes before PhotEx stuff

  7. I’m surprised they havent brought some of the F35s from the US to put on her as she arrives. After all they don’t need to land on her, they could easily be lowered by crain but would make a good photo op.

  8. I agree with James et al re PR. Nevertheless I’m very pleased we finally have a real carrier and another one on the way. Hopefully our RN can start to rebuild now.

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