Supercarrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon have met up for the first time off the UK’s South Coast.
The aircraft carrier is on her second phase of sea trials while HMS Dragon is on her way back to her home port of Portsmouth following a series of exercises in Scotland and the South West.
According to her builders, this phase of sea trials will primarily test the ship’s sensors, which include the radar and communications systems.
During this period, the vessel also undertake further propulsion trials and conduct air flow pattern tests, which demonstrate how air across the flight deck will affect aircraft taking off and landing.
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.
HMS Dragon’s Navigating Officer Lieutenant Glyn Duffell said:
“We rendezvoused with HMS Queen Elizabeth at 0630 today to provide her with assistance during her sea trials.
“On completion we took the opportunity to take a picture of the first time a Type 45 destroyer and our new aircraft carrier have sailed together – the first time of many to come.
“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.”
HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to be at sea for at least a month while she tests her capability before being officially handed over to the Royal Navy by the end of the year.
HMS Dragon will return to Portsmouth Naval Base where she will go into a short period of maintenance before returning to operations in 2018 say the Royal Navy.