HMS Queen Elizabeth was due to sail from Portsmouth today for training however the Royal Navy have now confirmed that this is being delayed due to personnel testing positive for COVID-19.

A Royal Navy spokesperson said:

“A small number of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s personnel have tested positive for COVID during routine preparation for sailing. Those affected have been isolated and are working with the NHS Test and Trace system to ensure the virus does not spread further.”

It is understood that the vessel is expected to sail once the status of the rest of the crew has been confirmed.

The vessel was due to sail for exercises including Exercise Joint Warrior off the Scottish coast. The ship is also due to be joined by American F-35Bs meaning that this will be the most aircraft on a Royal Navy carrier since HMS Hermes.

This is in preparation for next year when HMS Queen Elizabeth will deploy with two frigates, two destroyers, a nuclear submarine and support vessels.

HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group to deploy next year

Commodore Michael Utley, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group, is reported by Save The Royal Navy here as saying that HMS Queen Elizabeth will be escorted by two Type 45 destroyers, two Type 23 frigates, a nuclear submarine, a Tide-class tanker and RFA Fort Victoria.

Earlier in the year, HMS Queen Elizabeth cleared her penultimate hurdle for front-line duties after ten weeks around the UK, preparing for her maiden deployment in the new year.

“A final package of training in the autumn – working alongside NATO and US allies – will confirm her ability to act as a task group flagship, so that she can lead a potent carrier strike force on front-line operations anywhere in the world.”

The Royal Navy said at the time that in view of the size and complexity of the carrier, she received a dedicated training package, initially off the south coast, to test the ability of all 1,100 men and women on board to deal with everything they might expect to face in peace and war. The training package reached its climax with 18 fictional fire and flood incidents raging simultaneously – with the ship expected to continue flying operations while damage control teams toiled in the carrier’s depths.

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Thx again to the Chicoms for the pandemic. The gift that keeps giving. lol

Christopher Allen

I take it you also thanked the Yanks for Swine flu?


US are not known to have hidden the swine flu, worse some Chinese persons appear to have been made to disappear.

Levi Goldsteinberg

Septic government also weren’t encouraging septics to travel abroad while locking down domestic travel

James Hastings

Air industry publications say 91 flights from China, including Wuhan, arrived in LHR before China stopped overseas flights, thus knowingly exporting its Wuhan Bat Virus.


Or rats for the plague?

James Harrington

Chris, the swine flu originated in North America, of which the USA is a part. But it probably started in Mexico, but spread rapidly over the entire North American region. Thankfully there is and was a lot of surveillance of the pig population in America, and as Alex says the outbreak was not hidden. It also raises the question of how we all manage animal herds and the potential for a virus outbreak. Considering the “wall” doesn’t stop a virus, and who is in charge there I would not be surprised about what goes on in the CDC these days.

peter wait

Seems they are two big to be affordable with our defence budget, added to the cost of planes and the necessary support ships. Hyper-sonic missiles are a worry ! What was Gordon Brown thinking when he placed the order?


More money to be spent in Scotland and securing his base here.


Sorry peter that’s a rather simplistic and media led view you have. Do a little research into Naval warfare, power projection (both soft/hard) capabilities and ability of a CBG. Hyper sonic missiles are the new “excitement” but mostly chuff! Or maybe ask Gunbuster for an informed reply as he knows his shit inside out! Cheers


The threat of a British carrier battle group Sitting of your coast is a huge deterrent, then factor in the f35 stealth jet and we have a huge asset that no one apart from the USA can beat. Two type 45 destroyers, two type 26 Frigates, one Astute Atack sub, one aircraft carrier, two support ships, and we have a powerful force. Not to mention we will rarely sail alone, most european nations will be wanting to sail with us, Norway has already said they are sending a frigate to sail on our first deployment. Most British Allie Nations will… Read more »


Well said Cam


Cheers geoff, We are a very lucky nation to have assets like aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines, some would have us scrap the lot and have a couple patrol boats!. And these people tend to forget Britain is a Global Nation with global commitments to a host of ex British Empire nations, allies and NATO alike, and we need a Globaly capable military, and we do to some extent have that capability in most areas thankfully, but we just don’t have the big full on land Armys and the like but does that really matter in the modern age?? I’m… Read more »


The Dutch will be going as well!


That’s great Gunbuster, I’m sure there’s lots of Allie nations that will be wanting to sail and do their part in our first Modern carrier battle group.

john melling

Great comment Cam ;P



Daniele Mandelli

Yeah! That’s the way Cam.

As Oddball says “So many negative waves!”

In case people are wondering…Kelly’s Hero’s character played by Donald Sutherland!


Lol, yeah so many “negative waves” about our new Aircraft carriers, we are lucky we even have that capability Daniele.


Who would wonder that? Surely Kellys Heros is required watching for anyone with an interest in the military!!!!!!!!

Daniele Mandelli

Though not my favourite, mate. That goes to Where Eagles Dare! A classic. And the less known Cross of Iron.

Robert Blay

T45’s have also provided cover for the French carrier, and USN Nimitz class carrier’s. So it’s common for allies to help each other out. Winner 👍🇬🇧


Great post Sir. Will the RAN, others in the region, join in the deployment?


Yeah most likely. And a brand New Australian Destroyer would fit right in on the Battle groups South China Sea tour.

peter wait

Can you defend against a mach 8 Russian anti ship missile, thought are systems are up to mach 5 ?


Russia hasn’t got a mach 8 anti ship missile. Their much publicised Zircon has only hit land based targets. Making it anti ship capable and proven to be anti ship capable is a lot more complex than flying to a GPS coordinate and taking a nose dive into it which is all they have achieved so far.

Supportive Bloke

That is one down from the Sea Slug trick of a test firing that hits a WWII era plane flying is a straight line: therefore missiles are invincible and fighters are irrelevant……

Unfortunately that has the unintended consequence of destroying UK fighter development and investment in carrier aviation. AKA 1957 Defence White Paper….

So hopefully Russia start to believe its own propaganda about wonder weapons!!


I am skeptical as to the Russian and Chinese claims regarding these hypersonics. Ensuring The structural integrity of the missile in flight, in the earths atmosphere must be a huge feat of physics. I see how Mr. Musk and friends can send a new rocket up and down, but that’s with little maneuvering, and these hypersonic would need the ability to maneuver at incredible speeds. This is feasible, but is this actually possible in 2020?


An hypersonic missile to be a big problem does not even have to maneuver.
The fact that US started to move their f*t *ss in hypersonics direction is an hint.


There is a reason why hypersonic test aircraft such as the X43 Hyper-X which reached a speed of Mach 9.64 at 33,500 m (110,000 ft), which is air density. It certainly wouldn’t be able to each these speeds at low level. Even at the height it set the speed record, it had to use liquid cooling behind the leading edges to stop it melting.


And Gunbuster what the Russians say and actually have are two very different things. The Americans in the Cold War were shocked when they found out Russia actually doesn’t even have half of the Bomber and fighter force they said they had and what the yanks thought they had! And that goes for most things Soviet! However The Russians in space is another thing! they were beating USA on that for many years and are still pretty dam good at that side of things. It’s a Shame Britain scrapped our Black Arrow Space Rockets just after we got them capable… Read more »


I visited a Sovremeny and an Udaloy in the late 80s . The command system was individual system screens passing the info to a chinagraph powered perspex plotting board!
Sovs and Udaloys are still front line Ships now….


Would the Russians Have the balls to launch and cruise missiles at any western Ship? Nope didn’t think so.

And Britain alone has an economy allot bigger than russias! Economic sanctions can, do and will cripple Russia if they atack any western ship. It makes no sense atall…Especially as they would lose half there fleet in doing so.


Er fortunately the yanks won’t be firing hypersonic super shite at us, like I said the Russian and Chinese are at the moment talking chuff. Do some research and then maybe ask gunbuster or others with more subject matter knowledge. Cheers.

Meirion X

Have you seen a glowing meteor in the night sky?
The same thing would happen to s hyper sonic missile in the lower atmosphere, it would eventually burn up.

peter wait

Seems the Americans are developing hyper-sonic missiles and launching a network of satellites with infra-red detection, a lot of money for your “chuff”. It is recorded that a test one failed due to heat causing outer sheaf to fail, how exciting is that lol


Hypersonics???….1960s vintage soviet missiles where doing M4.5+. A couple of extra Mach is nothing new. Ballistic missiles doing M10+ on reentry are again nothing new and have been defeated by missile shots.

Robert Blay

Hypersonic missiles are not currently a threat. They might hit Greenland with one, but that’s about it 😄


That’s being Too fair Robert 😆


What is the purpose of the tarpaulin tents on the flight decks?


So you can have a BBQ when it rains 😉

Paul T

Adrian – Yes they are for Hosting PR Events and Parties etc.


I read it was for the application of the extra heat resistant flight deck materials.

Daniele Mandelli


It’s had its sailing delayed, its not been brought down. The people are vulnerable, not the ship.

Maybe disband people then?

And no one has yet shown me proof SDSR is a DC review, apart from scare stories spread by the usual suspects in areas of the media and the likes of yourself.

Nice try, but utter nonsense, to be brutally frank….

Nick C

Well said. It is always dead easy for the armchair warrior to be rude about something where they know nothing and have no responsibility.
And I am going to be as interested as everyone else in the results of the review, it might yet surprise on the upside.

Daniele Mandelli

I suspect it will have both positives and negatives.

John Clark

Well said Daniele, same tired old Guardian reading retoric from Harold….

Meirion X

More of a modern day Lord Haw-Haw, to me, John!


“Mr Cummings is on record as stating that a drone operated by a young person could bring a halt to this aircraft carrier. ”

It is possible. If the carrier aircraft can’t intercept the drone(weather?), it just needs to be at ceiling above Phalanx reach, about 2-2000m launching tiny missiles.

Meirion X

So I see Lord Haw-Haw the II, has gone fishing, hoping to catch some ignorant fish in some sparse water.
Nothing new as usual, just old news with some stale bite!


Will QE have all of her Phalanx and 30mm gun mounts fitted for this training exercise or will this wait until her first deployment next year? I understand PoW has all three Phalanx fitted but no 30mm as yet. Just curious.