Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to depart Portsmouth on Monday for routine trials after a maintenance period alongside.

On the official Queens Harbour Master Portsmouth website, the vessel is listed to depart in the ‘Shipping Movements and Planned Diving’ section.

‘PRJ’ is the ‘PRINCESS ROYAL JETTY’ where the vessel is currently berthed, ‘OSB’ is the ‘OUTER SPIT BUOY’ out in The Solent. Essentially, the vessel will leave the wall at 1pm and be out in The Solent just before 2pm.

What’s next for HMS Queen Elizabeth after trials?

The vessel is expected to return to Portsmouth again before heading for Scotland in May.

The Ministry of Defence say that HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Carrier Strike Group’s capabilities will be on show during Exercise ‘Strike Warrior’, which will take place off the coast of Scotland in May.

HMS Queen Elizabeth (and 15 F-35B jets) sailing with HMS Defender, HMS Diamond, HMS Northumberland, HMS Kent, RFA Fort Victoria and RFA Tideforce in addition to the USS The Sullivans and Dutch vessel HNLMS Evertsen.

The UK-led war-fighting exercise, including several other NATO navies, will be the final test for the Carrier Strike Group before it undertakes its maiden deployment.

F-35B jets onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The Ministry of Defence say that the deployment is expected to include two Type 45 Destroyers, two Type 23 Frigates, two Royal Fleet Auxiliary logistics vessels and a submarine in addition to an American destroyer and potentially other allied vessels.

“The task of protecting an aircraft carrier involves many ships, submarines and people. A Carrier Strike Group has an escort in the form of Type 23 Frigates and Type 45 destroyers, giving the strike group the ability to defend against above and below the sea threats. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary also play a vital role, keeping the strike group replenished with food and armament. The Queen Elizabeth-class carriers will be deployed with up to two operational Lightning squadrons and 24 F-35Bs on board, with a maximum capacity allowing for up to 36.”

You can read more about the specifics of the Carrier Strike Group here.

Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander UK Carrier Strike Group, said:

“The new UK Carrier Strike Group is the embodiment of British maritime power, and sits at the heart of a modernised and emboldened Royal Navy. Protected by a ring of advanced destroyers, frigates, helicopters and submarines, and equipped with fifth generation fighters, HMS Queen Elizabeth is able to strike from the sea at a time and place of our choosing; and with our NATO allies at our side, we will be ready to fight and win in the most demanding circumstances. Carrier Strike offers Britain choice and flexibility on the global stage; it reassures our friends and allies and presents a powerful deterrent to would-be adversaries.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth at sea.

After the work-up trial off the west Hebrides range, HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group will head to the Pacific.

British Carrier Strike Group heading to Pacific this year

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The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken
4 months ago

fantastish numero uno ??????????? What a vessel ???

John Clark
John Clark
4 months ago

Absolutely, the pride of Britain!

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
4 months ago

I really do look forward to her first deployment with her battle group. The Royal Navy will be at the forefront of British strategy for years to come.. The governments commitment now to ship building will once again make the Royal Navy the senior service..

dave12
dave12
4 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Very true ,but its a shame the army gets gutted in the process.

John Clark
John Clark
4 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Let’s wait and see the results of the SDSR Dave, but I tend to agree the Army does appear to being dealt to the bottom of the pack if rumours are true…

dave12
dave12
4 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Yep well boris made promises on ring fencing the army, I hope the rumors of cuts on numbers is just media hype.

Airborne
Airborne
4 months ago
Reply to  dave12

dave mate im not convinced….stand by for some very bad news covered in “honey” for new capabilites, new warfare blah blah…cuts cuts cuts!

dave12
dave12
4 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Exactly AB!!!!

TrevorH
TrevorH
4 months ago
Reply to  dave12

The Army have been making a compete Horlicks is procuring new equipment for years and is completely unsure what the army is for in the first place. Why does it buy Ajax and why does it have so many in the first place. Why decide to keep Warrior and still not know how to upgrade it. Where will Warrior be based, what is the purpose of its Armoured formations but still after years not determined what tank it needs? What is ‘Strike’ ? Does anybody know… other than endless gobbledogook phrases? If it has a purpose, why have the numbers… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Hi Trevor. “Why does it buy Ajax and why does it have so many in the first place.” Because we signed for them when the AI Brigades were still the priority and they complemented the planned Tank and Warrior upgrades. The bastard child of Strike was not born yet as Cameron had not swung the 2015 axe yet. They are bought in number because they replace the varied group of vehicles of the CVRT class, only around 240 are of the turreted Scout version. They were to only form 3 “Armoured Cavalry Regiments” and also appear in the AI Battalions,… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
4 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Vehicles like Ajax were contracted well before all this strike cluster come out, and the numbers of Heavuy Armour was cut, and no we cannot change the contract. Ajax itself is a great vehicle, as are the other versions, but, it needs to remain in the formations and and the job it was intended for. I agree, and always have said, the Army is mostly responsible for the cluster fuck its in, but thats not to say it doesnt need sorting out and remeidal action to take place. The Army has more than the SF as a force multiplier, we… Read more »

Peter S
Peter S
4 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Everyone seems to agree that the army is in a mess, with all main equipment needing upgrade or replacement at the same time. Adding to the problems is the lack of clarity about what we want the army to be able to do. That needs defining first before further major equipment purchases are contracted. Most worrying to me is the massive reduction in RAF combat power over the last decade. There is nothing included in the 10 year funding plan to rectify this beyond the contracted 48 F35s( the NAO sees a 10 year shortfall of at least £8b and… Read more »

Ian
Ian
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Read an interesting article about USAF wanting a revamped F16 4.5 to try and control costs as not happy with F35

Peter S
Peter S
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Yes. The USAF chief of staff said he sees the F35 as a specialist to be deployed in modest numbers and not the cornerstone of their strike force. Big change from buying thousands to replace everything.
According to the NAO, the contracted 48 UK aircraft will cost > £10b by 2030.

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

That’s not what Gen Brown said. He was talking about a replacement for the F-16 and was not talking about a new 4.5 generation fighter as a substitute for the F-35. He supports the continued procurement of the F-35. The US has approximately 1,200 F-16s in its inventory and these jets have to be replaced. That’s what Gen Brown was talking about. It’s a matter of numbers and budgeting. It’s difficult to determine precisely where the US Air Force is headed. It’s sixth generation fighter is cloaked in secrecy and no one knows, outside of the DOD, precisely what it… Read more »

Peter S
Peter S
4 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

That’s not how a number of US defence linked websites are interpreting his comments. ” Not driving your Ferrari to work everyday.” was the analogy used to express the need for something cheaper to replace the vast number of F16, A10 s. Other officials stress the intention to continue buying F35 but the size of the buy looks to be under serious reconsideration.

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

I read the transcript of his remarks and I stand by my characterization. Many US defense web sites have their claws out for the F-35 and skewer any comments made into negative ones to fit their agenda.

Meirion X
Meirion X
4 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

I agree that the USAF will need replace the F-16s, a majority operated by Air National Guards across the States, with another capable aircraft. It will be interesting to know what the outcome will be.

Last edited 4 months ago by Meirion X
Meirion X
Meirion X
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Not true 48 F-35B will cost £10 billion.
The UK pays $115.5m for each F-35B aircraft, except for the 3 test aircraft which cost $190m each. So that is $5.2bn for 45 + 3 for $570m, so total is $5.8bn rounded.
The UK’s share of Block 4 upgrades will be a fraction of the total cost, lets say it’s $1.2bn.
So total cost of 48 F-35B is $7bn convert to £5bn.

Peter S
Peter S
4 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

The£10 b cost figure comes straight from the NAO report on the 10 year equipment plan and covers just the 48 aircraft, spares and weapon integration.

Peter S
Peter S
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Forces net from Dec 20 gives an all in price per plane of £190m, giving a total close to the NAO figure.
Frightening number!

Meirion X
Meirion X
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Misinformation!

Meirion X
Meirion X
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

It includes the cost of the carriers,
“Carrier Strike”.

Just more misinformation, from You again!

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Over the programme life time. People forgetting it’s may run another 30 years

Meirion X
Meirion X
4 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Total cost of Block 4 upgrades is now $12bn for all F-35 aircraft.

Sean Crowley
Sean Crowley
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian

F-35 is in another league , and i put to you any RAF pilot who has flown both the Typhoon and the Lightening 2 would be a very very loud advocate for scrapping the Typhoons . It is beyond any F-16 , F-18 , F-15 not because of the stealth but the actual complete superiority in incorporating and acting on Information it either gleams or is made aware of . If your an patriot of your country , the only thing you should be pushing is F-35’s and bugger anything else .

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
4 months ago
Reply to  Sean Crowley

Well said mate.

Andy
Andy
4 months ago
Reply to  TrevorH

If you keep cutting the army until the pool is small.where do you think the bulk of the special forces will come from.

TrevorH
TrevorH
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy

Yes. Fair comment.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
4 months ago
Reply to  dave12

I think this SDSR will be the big shake up our Armed Force’s and industry needs. There may well be unpopular cuts, be we cannot keep putting a sticking plaster on the problems every 5 years. It’s about a reset for what we want, and really need our Armed Force’s to do over the next 20 years, and set it on a sustainable financial package. We may need to let go of basing our capability around the simple numbers game. Capability and technology really is key, along with superbly trained and motivated people. And if some cuts help release some… Read more »

dave12
dave12
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Yes robert you are right in terms of change to modern warfare , when it comes to numbers the UK armed forces are to small to do anything ,you still need some sort of mass, its not the case of being outdated in the numbers game, its the fact that any army cut back to less than a 100,000 is pretty much useless in any event.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
4 months ago
Reply to  dave12

I agree to a point, but the politicians probably count on the fact that we are highly unlikely to enter a shooting war on our own. It would most probably be with our allies with a UN resolution backing. And if we are equipped to plug n play straight into the American system, we are far more capable even in smaller numbers. Smaller, highly capable, specialist and deployable forces seem to be our future. Along with carrier strike, and combat air. I guess we will find out next month. ?

Airborne
Airborne
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Correct with that one Rob, but the yanks still expect its Allies to maintain a credible capability, with certain numbers, as numbers (as well as tech) can be about deterrence, which is then about credibility. But alas, as ever, we are at the whim of quite simplistic politicians with absolutly no idea about warfare, modern or otherwise. And I blame a number of CDSs as well to be honest, but thats another story altogether.

Airborne
Airborne
4 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Correct mate, as I always harp on about, no matter what great tech and force multipliers you think you have, you still need a minimum mass, a minimum credible number to take and hold ground, take losses, re-generate and keep the momentum. Numbers do play a part mate, as we know.

Andrew
3 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Well said Dave .

Airborne
Airborne
4 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Agree to a degree…however you will always need a minimum amount, this is to ensure that you can generate a capability, which is sustainable and able to take losses, and still re-generate. I understand where you are coming from, previously it was a big numbers game and deffo some of our numbers included absolute shite kit! However you still need a rounded capability, with assets and people trained and equipped for ALL aspects, areas and operations. Cyber is now a factor, yes, and we need to be on top of it, but to take and hold ground, to defend and… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
4 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Hi Airborne, I read an article recently that included a discussion about numbers vs cyber. It summed it up by pointing out that our Baltic allies might be a bit concerned that the UK might turn up to a tank battle with algorithms. I don’t care how good our cyber capabilities are, if an enemy turns up with a bunch of bloody great main battle tanks we are going to need something to stop them, which is not the same as just knocking some of them out. We need to be able to hold the line in a toe to… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
4 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Agree, methinks the Army will be the sacrificial lamb, lose some light role Inf Bns (best of a bunch of bad options however) as we cannot afford to lose any more enablers. Reduce heavy Armour, looks like that will happen, and heard from a few sources C130J to be chinned off….suprised at that due to the requirment and support for SF and DSF. However they are getting an expensive upgrade and mid wing/fuselage replacement….theres the bean counters savings straight away. In truth, depsite all the “extra” money stated last year, we are pretty fucked.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

“C130J to be chinned off” Pretty surprised at that mate. Losing LI battalions? Of our 33 Infantry Battalions only 12 support a deployable brigade in the current structure as it is! 5 have already been gutted moving men out and forming Specialised Infantry Battalions. Not against this given some explanations I have had on their usefulness and role but they are removed from the equation when considering useful battlegroups/ brigades we can use with the supporting enablers in place. “Reduce heavy Armour” Going to 2 Regiments in any case, as long as we keep the capability I can live with… Read more »

Dern
Dern
4 months ago

I’d argue fighting the treasury is the biggest battle.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Dern

God yes, that’s true actually. Good point.

Airborne
Airborne
4 months ago

Mate you know I totaly agree with all that, absolutly. We need to be deployable and able to carry out continous kinetic operations, with the ability to sustain losses and casualties, and still re-org and crack on.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
4 months ago

Hi Daniele,

There is an article on Navy Lookout highlighting that the Wild Cat force (Navy and Army) could be cut. Apparently, it was an option up for serious consideration early in the review process!

Just thought I’d cheer you up further on this bright Sunday morning 🙂

Cheers CR

John Clark
John Clark
4 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Wildcat cuts would be a surprising move, the Navy certainly can’t afford to loose a single aircraft, absolutely invaluable asset.

The Army Wildcats could be replaced by an off the shelf light utility solution, but I really can’t see the point of such a move…..

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Afternoon mate. That was also one of the options in SDSR2015 that the IDIOT Michael Fallon was in favour of, as he was with all the proposed cuts. It was rejected then, and will be now I’m quite sure. The escort force need helicopters, those helicopters have just had money spent on them to equip with LMRM and Sea Venom. These options are presented to achieve the savings wanted, actually carrying them out and deleting an entire capability and affecting others is quite another matter. Far easier to cut Infantry Battalions! The bean counters look and see we have 33.… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago

And I know you know that, Chariot, just venting!!

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
4 months ago

I know mate, no worries. I was being a little mischievous in highlighting. 🙂 I agree entirely with the point about numbers. You need mass or you risk being overwhelmed. I think that some of the politicians are beginning to realise that, but the MoD’s budget control is a joke and not getting any better. As I have said many times it comes down to discipline. I think every contract for major projects should be structured similar to the T31 contract i.e. once signed no changes allowed, especially to the capability requirement / specification. I also think that platforms should… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie
3 months ago

Daniele, i have banged on about the RAF luck of sharp end sqns since the 2010 cuts from 14 sqns to 8 -nearly half gone, l was going to quote “quantity has a quality all of its own” , but given the state of affairs, quite frankly what’s the point anymore.

Joe16
Joe16
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

That’s next on my reading list, it’ll be interesting to see what it says. If it makes sense for anyone to have the Wildcats, it’s the Navy. Not wanting to knock the AAC when everyone’s already giving the Army a good kicking in general, but their Wildcats have no offensive armament aside from .50 cal machine guns by my understanding; I don’t believe they can fire hellfire or rockets, and they aren’t slated to receive Brimstone, Martlet, or Sea Venom either. That’s not enough teeth for a congested battlefield in my opinion. I know they’re supposed to be scout choppers,… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
3 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Hi Joe,

I agree with what you say about the Army’s Wild Cats, they should at least be fitted with Brimstone. However, if they were to be cut I would suggest tha the Navy’s Wild Cats would start to look rather expensive to operate. Fleet scale matters when it comes to through life costs as I am sure you appreciate.

I would suggest the Army should have got its fingers out stopped wasting money and fitted Brimstone to its fleet, years ago… but we are where we are.

Cheers CR

Joe16
Joe16
3 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Yes, absolutely, but many national operators run smaller fleets than we do. Taking some of the AAC AH-1 Wildcat airframes into FAA inventory would mitigate that to a certain extent and then sell off the rest. Ultimately, the RN needs to fight its corner that they need the numbers of Merlin and Wildcat that they have as an absolute minimum. UAVs may fill some of the gaps, but they’d make more sense fulfilling the battlefield recon portion of the AAC’s mission than they would trying to do everything that the FAA’s Wildcats do. That may not come across as a… Read more »

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
4 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Hi Dave,

Doesn’t need to be. I put in a paper ” the British Army..towards 2030″ to the ISDR amongst others. It’s here under Analysis.I know the paper only represents my view but the army could with some imagination come out of the review in a better state than it’s in now. Mind you , that wouldn’t be difficult.

Pacman27
Pacman27
4 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

I agree Geoffrey the army can come out of this in far better shape but needs to dramatically change. realistically a UK division would be around 11k personnel+ an assigned air wing of a further 3600 personnel we could have 3 strike, 3 armoured and 1 commando divisions, plus one HQ/other duties division. This is in line with the latest thinking on most efficient size of a division as well as being clear on purpose. a section is 6 personnel, platoon 24, company, 120, battalion 600 etc A regiment will become 1 combat Bn, 1 support Bn and 1 logistics… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Always love the effort you put into these Pac.

I just can never see the forces being reorganised to that extent.

And where is the tail of the army? How do they fit in your headcount? The Home Command, Regional Command, and ATRD people? And oversees garrisons and also thousands in “purple” tri service and MoD posts might effect the 11k per Division aspiration. I see you’ve included an”HQ other duties” Division.

Pacman27
Pacman27
4 months ago

Hi Daniele they are all there – roughly a 30% front line, 30% enablers, 30% logistics, 10% CnC /Other duties Out of 11k there is circa 1920 infantry dismounts, which believe it or not is quite a lot. The key for me is that the vehicles need to take the logistics, firepower and C4ISTAR weight. A boxer can be congured with a much better weapons fit with reduce dismounts to 6 (same as Warrior). There is also plenty of room for stores etc if we do this. Its certainly difficult and what I would say is our military is now… Read more »

Jonatha
Jonatha
4 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Hopefully it will be more about cuts to cap badges, legacy equipment and facilities that are not really needed any more and not a bonfire of establishment and core deployable capability. i would not hold out hope as covid is going to make some major holes in the revenue as well as requirements for some pretty significant health and public health investments over the next parliament ( just the covid test kits are £8 a pop at 3 per week for very health, social care, education worker as well as secondary school pupil…. thats an easy billion+ a year just… Read more »

Mike
Mike
4 months ago

Good for the navy. According to the news today, the army and RAF are in for massive cuts. What a joke. Why do other countries spend less but get more? There must be at least one civil servant per serviceman/woman now.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Few countries spend less but have more. Maybe more numbers, but not more capability.

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Various snippets of news, probably best not taken at face value. I’ve seen..

  • 150 Challenger 2 tanks to be upgraded with new turret and gun
  • C-130 Hercules fleet to be binned
  • FAA Wildcat fleet to be scrapped
  • 4 T23 frigates to be sold or scrapped.
  • Army to lose 10,000 men
  • RM to be re-skilled in ‘grey’ warfare…whatever that means.

We are certainly going to see something transformative. On balance I an hopeful and looking forward to the review.

dave12
dave12
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Well if all you mentioned is true ,I think the government has lost the plot ,considering boris promised to ring fence defence.

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 months ago
Reply to  dave12

The reduction in army numbers, the chopping of the C-130s and early retirement of the T23s would save money but if what was saved is wisely spent then we could see gains in capability. Would the SAS and RM actually prefer some long range Chinook CH-47Gs to Hercules for example? Cancelling some T23 refits would not be operationally missed if HMS Glasgow hits its in service date and would save money for up-arming T31 for example. If the full C2 upgrade is going ahead I read this to mean there is a commitment to giving the army the weapons it… Read more »

dave12
dave12
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Right that explains a lot Paul cheers, lets hope.

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Not sure I’ve explained anything. Like lots of folks I’ just interested in things turning out for the best. Boris commitment to defence and the RN in particular doesn’t translate into unlimited funds. If we are to start doing some expensive things like cyber and space we do have to look with our allies at what capabilities we continue and whether we can do it smarter. Do we need the myriad of helicopter types or army vehicles we have, probably not. Standards cut the cost of ownership and increase reliability and availability. There are currently 2000 Russian ‘mercenaries’ fighting on… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Some of that we could go for Paul. For me, scrapping the C130s is an absolute disaster and given the clout DSF is said to have and the impact the UKSF Group has way beyond its size oversees on ops in both CT and intell roles with allies makes the cutting of ANOTHER of their enablers barking mad. The dedicated AAC SF support squadron at Odiham ( 657 AAC, JSFAW ) was also cut a few years ago. With all the group’s commitments ongoing we scrap their dedicated fixed wing support element ( 47 Sqn) and put their considerable taskings… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago

Just read up more regards Atlas and parachuting and seems Atlas operational envelope has been expanding into rough field and some parachuting / airdrop since 2018.

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago

Good work on that research Daniele. If the rumour is true I’ll be sorry to see the Hercs go …a an elegant design and a good servant. But it doesn’t do to get too attached to anything.

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 months ago

No argument that our SF insertion capability should stay on the ‘retain’ list. Some changes in thinking are in the offing….forward basing seems to becoming fashionable.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/new-uk-royal-marines-commando-unit-being-created-as-part-of-future-commando-force

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Yes, Vanguard Strike Company. What that article never said clearly was whether that is in addition to 40, 42, 45 Cdo or instead of. The new kit mentioned, a smart tablet, new uniform, and unmanned boat. Wow! Who needs LSS, LPD, CB90, various new landing craft, better firepower, and above all, helicopters! And do CLR, 29RA and 24 RE go to pay for it? Why not just retain SF work for the SFG and the SFSG as has been for decades in the formers case and have 3 Commando build up its brigade strength and do something useful like reinforce… Read more »