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Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has announced that HMS Queen Elizabeth is set to enter her new home in Portsmouth in around two weeks time.

Whilst weather conditions mean the exact date of the historic moment is yet to be confirmed, the window for entry will open next Thursday the 17th, with her arrival expected to be no later than the following Tuesday the 22nd.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

“In just two weeks’ time, the most powerful warship ever built for Britain’s famous Royal Navy is set to sail into her proud new home in Portsmouth.

HMS Queen Elizabeth‎ will be the Royal Navy’s flagship for the next 50 years, keeping us safe by deploying across the seven seas, using her strike power to deter our enemies.”

With only three other countries in the world building aircraft carriers, the MoD say HMS Queen Elizabeth will give Britain the capability to lead the way in tackling global issues in an increasingly uncertain world, from providing humanitarian relief to high-end warfighting.

Trials are simultaneously underway for both HMS Queen Elizabeth and F-35B Lightning before they come together in 2018 but just what do sea trials involve?

Sea trials monitor speed, manoeuvrability, power and propulsion as well as undertaking weapons trials and additional tests on her levels of readiness.

Sea trials were planned beginning in March 2017 but minor technical issues delayed her sea trials until the end of June. Prior to the ship’s departure from Rosyth, an extensive survey was carried out of the Firth of Forth by HMS Gleaner and 42 Regiment, Royal Engineers to gather information on the tides, the depth of the river bed, and the height of the three river crossings (Forth Bridge, Forth Road Bridge, Queensferry Crossing). This was necessary as the most recent data available was 60 years old.

Queen Elizabeth sailed on the 26th of June 2017. The first stage of the operation was to move the ship from inside the fitting out basin, via one of the access gates, into the Firth of Forth itself, before taking the ship under the three Forth bridge crossings.

Once this was accomplished, the ship took to the open sea off the east coast of Scotland to undertake the first set of trials, including handling and speed tests. During this period, Queen Elizabeth was accompanied by a pair of Type 23 frigates, HMS Sutherland and HMS Iron Duke, acting as escorts.

The first aircraft to land on the ship was a Merlin HM.2 of 820 Naval Air Squadron on the 3rd July. Following initial runs in and around the Firth of Forth, the carrier was taken further north to the Moray Firth, during which period the ship encountered the Cunard cruise liner Queen Elizabeth.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Been waiting for this for years, watching the build progress, and with the promise that I’d be in Pompey on the day she arrives. Now they go and pick one of the few week’s I can’t actually get there. Gutted

  2. I wish people would say ‘The Thursday after next’ if they mean the 17th. ‘Next Thursday’ is the 10th.

    And ‘This Thursday’ is the same as ‘Next Thursday’. The 10th.

    Sorry just my OCD playing up again … I’ll move on …

    • This Thursday can’t be the same as Next Thursday as it pertains to the present.

      Oxford Dictionary:

      Next: (of a day of the week) nearest (or the nearest but one) after the present. ‘not this Wednesday, next Wednesday’

      • We’ve just discovered an invaluable new tactic for the UK. Rather than attempt a suppress air defences prior to an attack we simply email an enemy to tell them that we will be attacking “next Thursday”. The entire enemy military will then be so busy arguing amongst themselves about exactly which Thursday “next Thursday” refers to that they will fail to attend to their duties, monitor their consoles, get weapons ready etc and our attack can proceed unopposed.

        I guess that we can cancel the entire F-35B order now since those are clearly no longer necessary.

      • Matt – Lol …. so ‘next Thursday’ can’t be the 17th though?

        Julian – See! I knew my OCD madness had a useful purpose …..

        • Next Thursday is absolutely the 17th. This Thursday is the 10th.

          Days of the week share the past, present, future tense of the week to which they are associated. A week in the present tense, “This week”, can’t have a “Next Thursday” associated with it.

          This week, this Thursday – present
          Next week, next Thursday – future

          Obviously come Friday, next Thursday would the next occurrence of a Thursday and also in the next week.

  3. I have booked a hotel in Portsmouth from the 17 th to 20th so hope it does make it in for then. Been waiting years for this event and I can’t wait to see her.

  4. “Lead the way” – I’m assuming that means ahead of America? Don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy about these carriers, but we aren’t going to be leading the way in deterring a potential adversary during times of global tension any time soon.

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