The Government have confirmed that planning is underway to evaluate the feasibility of berthing the Queen Elizabeth class carriers in Gibraltar.

Bob Stewart, MP for Beckenham asked in a written question to the Secretary of State for Defence:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what infrastructure and dredging will be required at the facilities at South Mole in Gibraltar to enable the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers to load (a) life support cargo, (b) fuel supplies and (c) munitions directly from the dock side.”

Answered by Harriett Baldwin, Under Secretary of State for Defence Procurement:

“As part of forward planning for the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers, the Royal Navy continues to review ports that would be accessible to these ships. This process includes the infrastructure requirements at South Mole in Gibraltar.”

This comes after Minister Mike Penning described the territory as a “massively significant base”.

According to the Gibraltar Chronicle, Mr Penning also confirmed that HMS Queen Elizabeth would visit Gibraltar by Easter of 2018.

“Queen Elizabeth, the new aircraft carrier, will be here. She will moor in Gibraltar.”

Just incase you were wondering how big the carriers are compared to the territory:



  1. Can already hear the triggering of the Spanish.

    Good to see it will be visiting. Hopefully it does a tour of our territories including Cyprus. A visit to the Caribbean islands would be a good show of the flag while it is over there next year for trials.

  2. Gibraltar is a cash cow for the Spanish economy, many people in that part of Spain adjoining Gibraltar work there and take their earnings back home.
    I doubt the Spanish government will want to disrupt that too much.
    And if the UK want to send a British warship to a British territory, that’s up to us.

  3. Wouldn’t matter if they decided to retake it by force as we have nothing left to fight with anyway
    Becouse of theses carriers we wont now have any means of landing troops by sea as all the anfib ships plus the marines are going to go to pay for theses carriers which have no means of defending themselves let alone Gib

    • Cobblers. The problems not the carriers it’s Dreadnaughts brought onto core budget by Mr Osborne. You’re talking rubbish. As for Gibraltar, like the Cyprus sites it’s a key oversees asset t hst I hope gets expanded. Spanish can go take a running jump.

          • Nether of them said that. Trident is the reason we are in such a budget mess. The cost was moved from the treasury to the MOD in the 2010 review.

          • Trident is not ‘the’ reason – it’s one reason.

            MOD cuts in 2010 were same as most UK spending departments i.e. 30%. This is the main reason we’re in this state.

            Then from that greatly reduced budget pensions were added in.

            Then Trident was inserted into MOD budget from central funding.

            Then the Brexit £ collapse added to the woes of purchasing US denominated assets of which there are quite a lot.

            They are all reasons. CASD is responsible for barely 20% of the hole

    • Catalonia, Baz, Catalonia.

      We as a maritime nation are in the curious position of having two aircraft carriers with no aircraft and fewer escorts than ever.

      • Barry for comparison, please look at the launch and commission dates for previous carriers Ark Royal for example was launched June 81, commissioned November 85. So although she would have had working up of her air group during the 4 years, how is that much different from the plans for HMS Queen Elizabeth? She will have aircraft available when she is commissioned. Escorts are a cause for concern, an awful lot is actually riding on the Type 31 as the first of those is due into service in 2023.

        • Paul i wasn’t on about the program for getting the carriers operational what i was trying to imply was the fact that because of these carriers it now looks as though we will have to loose al our anphib capability

      • And Barry, stop been a daily mail idiot and think for yourself. We have many aircraft, we have a small amount of F35s, they are undergoing trials, HMS QE is also undergoing trials. The F35 will be flying from HMS QE by the end of next year.

    • Do you know something we do To? There has been no decisions on any further cuts and until there is you are speculating.

  4. This may an odd question but can the carriers berth at the new London Gateway port? How about other large UK ports as it could be a nice opportunity to have them visit from time to time and maybe let people have guided tours as I have a feeling a lot of people would jump at the chance to see these ships.

  5. A massive waste of tax payers’ cash. Hopefully, what I read about the sale of HMS Ocean, Albion, Bulwark and other ships is to occur. I have again written to the Secretary of State reminding him that the opportunity to make huge savings will soon be with us.

        • The sign if ignorance from someone who’s served his country? Alongside the likes of you, who wish to downgrade and talk down their nation at every opportunity in a forum following a subject you despise??? Personally I’d deport you tomorrow…..baz has every right to insult you as I’m sure many others feel the same!

          • I am not down grading anything. I am not so juvenile as to judge a country by the size of its armed forces. That is a pubescent attitude.
            I believe in a proper defence force with a patrol boat squadron and well equipped home forces. I don’t feel the need to impress anyone. I suppose such n attitude comes with age and responsibility. You’ll find that when you start having to pay your own way, you will be more concerned where your taxes are spent by the government. People are paid to do a job as i have been. You call it service, I call it employment. If you are that keen on the armed forces then join them when you grow up. Either that or help house them and sort out their mental health issues when they are discharged and forgotten.

      • Baz
        TH is wrong, but insulting him just makes you look foolish – and lowers the tone iof this website and forum, we don’t need it.
        I know he always sings the same tune, so be it. It is not like he is winning any friends here. Nor is that what he wants to do
        best Tim

    • An insult for someone who’s argument is only worthy of insult. You hate this country and it’s armed forces, you’re just a a troll. Get lost already.

      • I neither hate this country nor its armed forces. I just believe that a proper level of defence spending is urgently required along with other government spending and that current levels are unsustainable and unnecessary.

    • Thanks for commenting TH. Thought you’d gone. I always like to read the Putin party line for a laugh now and again.

    • So TH , a little off topic but what is your opinion on the following.
      Members of the Armed forces are paid by the tax payers ( Including themselves. I worked it out that when in the Armed Forces I paid my own wages twice a year through tax and NI…that’s pretty cost effective. ) and undergo compulsory drug testing.
      If they are found to have illegal substances in them they are in all likelihood going to be sacked, and rightly so. Why should the UK Tax payer fund the taking of illegal substances.
      Should this also be applied to the wider population who receive any form of government Benefits? Imagine the savings…if you take illegal drugs no cash payouts… Discus…

  6. If we could we should hand our overseas territories independence, however as long as residents wish to remain part of the UK family then we should defend their right to do so.

    Regards Cyprus, we should retain Akrotiri SBA and hand back Dhekelia to Cyprus.

    Regards defence cuts, we should keep the refitted Albion and scrap Bulwark. I do not wish to see any cuts to the army and RM ‘bayonet’ battalions.

    • In my opinion the UK should retain all assets within Akrotiri SBA, with Troodos and Ayios Nikolios sites also retained. With Dhekilia being mostly an army garrison I agree that could be released. I recall thousands of acres of disused sba land have also already been released. Myself I’d rather see the loss of an infantry battalion rather than cuts to the only LPD’s we have. Keeping such specialist well trained troops such as the RM is also a given.

  7. It is a sad state of affairs that this once great nation now haso a 4th rate armed services ,which couldn’t befendo a play Park from a nursery school class , due to the fact that we have had a third world government for the last 25 years. Where else do injured service personnel need to rely on charities for the support they deserve.

  8. Forward basing a QE class Carrier at Gib in times of tension in the med makes a lot of sense, Gibraltar really is a hugely strategic facility.

    Base areas like Gib and Akrotiri, allow the UK to box above its weight and I would regard them as absolutely vital as the UK secures its world wide interests post BREXIT.

  9. Not sure why operating a base for these ships in Gibraltar is in anyway a contentious issue.
    We have got a base for them being built in Bahrain for goodness sake noone is saying ..” wait a minute we cannot do that”
    Ocean has not gone yet, there are still plenty of people like me still lobbying my mp to forcefully argue against any more defence cuts.
    I hope and pray Fallon is telling the truth and they are going to increase the size of the RN.

  10. Another more relevant point might be to have a 2nd uk facility that can berth and resupply these magnificent ships.
    That makes much better strategic sense.
    Portsmouth as primary base and maybe Cardiff or Belfast as a fall back base in case Portsmouth facilities destroyed or damaged.

  11. During a discussion with Michael Foot about Charles’ and Diana’s honeymoon on the royal yacht Britannia, the Queen said King Carlos of Spain had telephoned to complain about the couple’s planned visit to Gibraltar.

    According to Roy Hattersley, Her Majesty said to Foot: ‘I told him he’s my son, it’s my ship, and it’s my dockyard!’
    Whereupon Foot informed her: ‘The first Elizabeth couldn’t have put it better, ma’am!’

  12. The Spanish are going to be rather busy soon with a civil war with Catalonia, i cannot see them really giving two figs about QE or POW berthing at Gibraltar for a while.
    wonder what our “friends and allies” in the beloved EU will do about Catalonia? Probably arm Spain to the teeth to flatten the region, i would not be surprised about that, with the EU returning to the Foreign Legion they sent into the Spanish civil war to fight for the nationalists.
    return of German troops to Spain? Would not be surprised, the leopard cannot change its spots.
    I know being contentious and argumentative but you never know. Catalonia becoming independent could be the tipping point for the EU, either they crush democracy and kill thousands and actively support that process or they are for democracy and allow Catalonia and its people their democratic rights.

    • @Mr Bell
      You may not mean what you’ve written in any serious sense but you are so off-ball with your comments here re: the EU and Catalonia that they cannot go uncorrected:

      1. While I agree Madrid is badly mishandling the entire crisis – it is Madrid and Barcelona and NOT the EU that are in the driving seat over Catalan separatism
      2. Both Spanish PM Rajoy and Catalonia’s Puigdemont face awkward corruption allegations – and so ramping this issue suits them both – it mutes a lot of their own domestic opposition.
      3. The EU has been on the sidelines throughout this, and you must know has been publicly urging both sides to talk. It is scrupulously AVOIDING getting involved in the internal affairs of a member state.
      4. Whether Catalonia’s separatist wishes are granted or not depends on Madrid – NOT the EU. The EU has been very clear on this, I have no idea how you can so misconstrue things.
      5. Finally, the idea that there could actually be a shooting war with the involvement of German troops is simply silly (and offensive).

      The periodic habit, among some in the UK, of viewing the 21st C Federal Republic of Germany through the lens of last century’s wars does nobody any favours.

      Best wishes


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