HMS Queen Elizabeth has arrived in Rosyth, Scotland for planned dry-docking and maintenance.

The nearly two month dry docking period will see Babcock can carry out maintenance work on the vessel. According to the Ministry of Defence, the work will sustain 100 jobs at its peak and it will be carried out over the summer.

Her Commanding Officer, Captain Nick Cook-Priest said:

“A lot of water has already passed under our keel since we left Rosyth in 2017. Our return here is yet another first for HMS Queen Elizabeth and another important step on her journey as Britain generates a big deck Carrier Strike capability.”

The head of Marine Engineering onboard, Cdr Mark Hamilton said in a release:

“This routine maintenance will include changing many of the large underwater valves, inspecting the rudders, propellers and stabilisers, as well as cleaning and touching up the underwater paint scheme. Having completed this work, HMS Queen Elizabeth should not have to dry dock again for another six years.”

Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said:

“After a phenomenal year of trials off the east coast of the US, this dry-docking contract is an important step for HMS Queen Elizabeth as she gears up for operations.”

When the docking period is complete HMS Queen Elizabeth will sail to conduct further sea trials ahead of deploying again later this year for ‘WESTLANT 19’, where she will embark British F-35B jets for further tests.

Recently, engineers aboard sister ship HMS Prince of Wales which is also currently at Rosyth turned on the ships diesel generators for the first time, say the Royal Navy. Simon Lister, managing director of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance added:

“To all involved – and that is a large proportion of the entire workforce – my thanks and congratulations on achieving the first diesel start. This has seen focused effort, great innovation, real perseverance in the face of setbacks, and a commitment to quality that has been truly impressive. These are becoming the hallmarks of HMS Prince of Wales. Great teamwork from a large number of groups and individuals. Well done, thank you, and now for the gas turbines!”

The builders are hoping Prince of Wales will be leaving Rosyth dockyard for sea trials this year. The Aircraft Carrier Alliance are confident she will be ready for sea trials by November 2019.

Sir Simon Lister of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance said the ship is physically complete.

“We’re now at that stage of fitting out all the equipment inside the ship. Wiring it up, plumbing it up, and setting all that equipment to work. One of the powerful things about this contact is that any budgetary over-run is shared between the industry and government, so there is a very strong pressure to get this done at minimum cost to the taxpayer and companies,” he said.

“It’s our objective to finish this programme on time and as close to budget as we can.”

People I spoke to at Rosyth on my last visit told me that building HMS Prince of Wales has been “20% to 25%” faster than building its sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth.

When on HMS Queen Elizabeth two years ago, we were told that the build of HMS Prince of Wales was expected to be around 8 months quicker thanks to “lessons learned” in the build process. The builders are already applying lessons from including improvements to the process of preparing its heat-resistant flight deck and installing an improved F-35 landing light systems earlier in the build process.

Recently, the Aircraft Carrier Alliance has successfully handed over the HMS Prince of Wales Navigation Bridge to the Royal Navy, a milestone originally planned for March 2019.

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Harry Nelson

But there’ll still be the “dry dock already, must be broken” and “no planes, white elephant” comments….


Dry dock already?!!! Must be broken.

No Planes?!!! What a white elephant!!!

There. Happy now?

Just joking:P

captain P Wash


Daniele Mandelli

If Scotland achieves independence, pray God no, where will this dry docking be undertaken concerning the QEC carriers?

Daniele Mandelli

Turn them away? They would in effect be a foreign power, I would not want our ships sent abroad to Scotland, no more than I would want our ships built abroad, like the ongoing FSS fiasco.

Dave L

Let’s hope they come up with the plan to build a big enough dock in Portsmouth – heard that the investigation is ongoing but if the SNP get their way we need an alternative.


Or HMG can declare Rosyth as a Sovereign British Overseas Territory…

Cam Hunter

They were built in Scotland though!

captain P Wash

Assembled !!!


like the treaty ports in Ireland which were controlled by the RN until 1937-wrong time to give them up thats for sure! would of been very useful for the battle of the atlantic.


also, Harland and Wolf can take them in Belfast, as im sure can somewhere in the Tyne, although they are pretty much extinct at this point.
But if Scotland goes independent it would only be a matter of time before NI leaves too!

captain P Wash

Scottish Independence will never happen, There would have to be a Vote and as we all now Know, Vote’s don’t mean Jack.


Yes, we’ll let you vote but if you don’t give us the answer we want we’ll ignore it and claim ‘you didn’t really understand the question’ or what did Scotland actually ‘mean’ by leave. Can you imagine if Scotland voted to leave the UK and it ended up being a repeat of the Brexit vote.

Captain P Wash


I’m laying claim to that term and I hope to make millions from the Proceeds.

You read It here First !


Plenty of large drydocks, Belfast, Inchgreen, Southampton.
Belfast has the infrastructure in place, and the drydock is sodding huge, you could fit a fair few frigates in it. I recall that the QE class couldn’t use it without mods to the entrance though.

Rosyth is best placed as it has the experience in building and maintaining large vessels.


You have to understand though, there is an epic level of stupid with wee jimmy crankie, she doesn’t care about anything other than Independence for us, whether we want it or not. (not based on last vote)

Daniele Mandelli

They tried a version of that wanting 16 year olds to vote.
Just ban people 50 and over, those “grey haired white men” that racist labour MP said were such a problem, and we’re good to go!

Funnily enough, in ancient times a tribes elders were deferred to, as funnily enough they seemed to know a thing or to about life compared to teens who know it all…


16 year olds can leave school, work and pay taxes so why shouldn’t they have a say in political systems which wilo affect things they pay into. A lot of younger people have issues with the fact that they as a group will naturally have a longer period of living under the effects of Brexit, and feel they’re being dragged out by a generation who had lower house prices, have bigger savings (so can more easily cope with short term financial instability) and others – yes older generations have faced different challenges. Yes elder people have life experience but arguably… Read more »


I believe Harland and wolf can take her in theory, that being said I would be much more worried about where to store all the nuclear weapons than a simple dry dock for the carrier.

captain P Wash

On the BC News Site, there Is an article about our Nuclear sub storage and lack of action regarding the Decommissioning.

hopefully UKDJ might Post it here.

captain P Wash

It Is !

And It confirms my fears too.

Why actually start to sort the problem when you can just let them sit there for future governments to deal with the problem.

All the while the cost’s are mounting.

I’ve said it before but you don’t just buy Nuclear once, you continue to pay over and over again.


Oh if Scotland got independence we’d just leave all the decommissioned nuclear subs up there for them to deal with! ?

captain P Wash

Sean, How do you post those Emoji’s on here ?


Save The Royal Navy has published quite a few articles about this, well worth a read.

Captain P Wash

Thanks Lusty, I really must pop over there and have a look.


yes highly recommend anything by save the royal navy, they always make for a good read!

Haven’t the Royal Navy got a drydock suitable for a QE carrier in Duqm, Oman now?

Nick C

As Mark Twain said, “If voting changed anything, they wouldn’t let us do it”


Yes, it will be fantastic! One of the next battles to fight will be on getting sufficient numbers of type 31s so we can reallocate the more capable ships to use as escorts on a more permanent basis (for each carrier) I did see somewhere that suggested 5-10 31s were planted. If we got 10 that would do it. Although that would also come rather close to giving us a two tier navy…

captain P Wash

JohnG, It’s 5 Planned but there was mention of “At least 5” up until about a year ago. that part has gone quiet though.


Hello Capt. Yes, now that you mention that it does ring a bell. Thanks for commenting. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if we just had the 5, but it would simply result in only having enough escorts for one carrier (around 2 type 26s and 1 type 45) unless we give up our global deployments elsewhere. I understand the RN plan to have allies providing escorts, but I’m not sure how much this is just hopefull thinking. I’d rather be in a position where we had enough ships to form two, albeit small, sovereign carrier groups if… Read more »

captain P Wash

It’s a common worry shared often on here and many other places. We have very few ships but our commitments are increasing with new “Areas of Interest” Globally.

It’s all about Costs and Politics, Both of which seem to be against any increases in equipment across the board.

Only to day I read that our Soldiers are having to shoot at pictures of a Muppet due to the shortage of traditional targets.

Daniele Mandelli


Alan Reid

Nice to see our “Queen” back home in bonnie Scotland.


On a different note, but still carrier related. The USMC has finalised its requirements for its future UAV. They have asked that the aircraft is primarily designed to provide airborne early warning (AEW), electronic warfare and communications relay capabilities. This is because they are forging ahead with their Lightning Carrier concept which embarks 10 F35Bs on their Wasp class of LPHs. The idea is to generate a light carrier for low level operations, but also to provide enhanced air power for its expeditionary forces. They have initially narrowed down their list to the following aircraft, Bell’s V247, Lockheed Martin’s ARES… Read more »

Captain P Wash

Interesting and very well posted. Crowsnest does seem a tad limiting for such a fantastic Ship/Aircraft combination.


Helicopter is by far ideal for AWAC. The RN should follow this USMC concept closely and tag in if successful! But in an ideal world they could jointly develop a V22 AWAC with the RN, that pared with the USN V22 COD variant and a few standard MV22s along with of course F35 and associated helicopters would make for an ideal combo!


actually in an ideal world the carriers would be catobar and would have F35C, E2D Hawkeye etc and in the future some form of ‘Sea Tempest’ and put in a CATOBAR version from the drawing board.
And of course in an absolutely ideal world we would actually develop our own multiple variant fixed wing AEW/ISTAR/ASW/COD/Amphibious Assault aircraft, but that truly truly is an ideal and fantasy world!


Evening all – When QE had her Phalanx fit in Portsmouth recently, I read they installed only 2 of the 3 – does anyone know why? The picture above backs this up as the forward port side mount isn’t installed – only starboard. Seems very odd… does anyone know if they also installed the 30mm auto-cannons?


Pretty sure they didn’t fit the 30mm auto-cannons.

As for the Phalanx, maybe just a gradual work up?


Thank you Lusty – I just thought it strange they only fitted 2 of the 3. Oh well, I’m sure someone somewhere has their reasoning…. thank you again!


Standard MOD policy not to adequately arm or equip its forces.
Any future opponent will always give us 5 to 10 years to prepare properly, won’t they….?


… sad but very true I’m afraid…


you could fit a lot of goats on that deck!

Captain P Wash

A couple of cats would have been nice !!!!!

Nick Bowman

The USMC is spot on with the drone AEW comment. Their high endurance would be a great asset. Better still would be five or six connected AEW drones flying in a pattern. If one were to get knocked out, the others would reposition. It would seem to be an obvious carrier-based AEW solution – far superior to Merlin Crowsnest.

Rob N

It is good to see at least 1 of 3 CWIS Phalanx fitted… what happened to the other 2. You would think they would have fitted them all at the same time…

She is starting to look like an operational ship now.

Looking good.


Rob N

I tell a fib 2 CIWS have been fitted. The Stern one is also there but not in the photo. The firing arcs look good too. The Stern one covers the rear and most of the ships Port side. The forward starboard one cover the starboard side and straight ahead. The only blind spot is the port forward area which will get its own mount firing forward and port to midships.

All we need now are a few Sea Ceptor boxes. This penny pinching with a national asset appears crazy to me.