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Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and frigate HMS Somerset have arrived in the British territory of Gibraltar this morning.

The carrier will be conducting a routine logistics stop having left her home in Portsmouth last week for helicopter trials.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“As the Rock casts its shadow over the flight deck of our world-class aircraft carrier, Gibraltar rightfully marks HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first overseas stop as she refuels and takes on supplies before continuing her sea trials. I’m sure our friends in Gibraltar will be proud to see our future flagship sail through British waters into their famous port.”

Captain Jerry Kyd, the Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, said:

“It is a great privilege for me to be bringing our new aircraft carrier into Gibraltar for her first ever overseas port visit.

Gibraltar is the perfect stop for HMS Queen Elizabeth as we conduct our flying trials in the waters off the Iberian Peninsula. And our visit also underlines the incredibly rich history and special relationship the Royal Navy and Royal Marines share with Gibraltar.

I am personally very lucky to have visited the Rock many times in my naval career, but well over a quarter of my sailors have not yet experienced what, for the Royal Navy, is something of an iconic run ashore.”

His Excellency the Governor of Gibraltar, Lieutenant General Edward Davis said:

“From the moment Her Majesty appointed me as Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Gibraltar I, and no doubt all Gibraltarians, have been eagerly awaiting HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first visit to the Rock.

My eagerness reflects two things. First, my pride in one of the world’s most advanced aircraft carriers as a manifest demonstration of the British Navy’s ambition and resolve to ensure that our nation’s maritime and amphibious capability remains a decisive global force for good. And second, my confidence that HMS Queen Elizabeth’s entry into service will see Gibraltar continuing to prove its vital relevance as a mounting and sustainment base for global Britain’s contribution to international security.

I wish HMS Queen Elizabeth and her crew God speed as they make us all proud to be British.”

Commander Tim Berry, the Commanding Officer of HMS Somerset, said:

“Escorting the largest and most technologically advanced carrier ever built for the Royal Navy past the Rock of Gibraltar is of course a huge privilege.

Importantly, it also brings about a new focus for my ship that is both challenging and exciting. Carrier Strike will undoubtedly play a key role in supporting Britain’s global narrative well into the second half of this century and for myself and my ship’s company to be part of this vision is inspiring and very rewarding.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to start fixed-wing flight trials with three or more F-35Bs off the eastern coast of the US around September this year. A fantastic info-graphic created by SaveTheRoyalNavy can be found here and details the timeline of the programme.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Welcome to British Gibraltar. The Royal Navy’s home from home .you will get a very warm British Gibraltarian welcome, enjoy your stay

  2. it would be nice if the media could decide between them whether Lizzie is 65 000 or 70 600 tonnes. it changes from day to day. Perhaps the RN or ACA could rule on this one and send a media briefing as widely as possible

  3. Love the photos from the HMS Queen Elizabeth Twitter page.
    A substantial British ship visiting a very pro-British port. Wonderful.

  4. She’s gone in today to distract the media away from the fact that yet another of our ships has gone in Devonport flying her paying off pennent (HMS Ocean)
    The demise of our once great Royal Navy is soul destroying
    We wont have enough escorts to protect QE if the powers that be dont make there minds up soon
    I wonder what the Navy would look like today if they didnt build those carriers as they were only a job creation scheme rather than a strategic decision

    • It would look pretty useless. We might still have more than 19 escorts but they would have nothing to escort. The carrier programme was indeed a strategic decision and that will stand us in good stead going forward. I would rather have 2 carriers and only 12 escorts than have zero capital ships and 30 escorts. There are plenty of frigate navies in NATO, we dont need to one as well.

      • Agree.

        The UK has Carriers, SSN, SSBN, and a substantial RFA.

        These are the core, along with the LPD’s if we can keep them.

        The escorts are extra.

  5. Yes agree with Stephen and Daniele.. Also the fact is on certain occasions those very NATO allies with there frigates will help to protect our carriers along with our own escorts. Certainly we could do with a few more escorts further into the future but i don’t think it will be as much of a problem as people think when it comes to escort numbers for the carriers.

  6. Gibraltar, as always, so accommodating. Good to see they’ve taken in half of the operational Royal Navy.
    About time politicians realised all they’re succeeding in doing is re inventing the wheel when they start decimating our armed forces.
    Why don’t they GET A GRIP!!!!

  7. I work adjacent to where she is currently berthed- what an impressive sight it was to watch her come alongside. Very proud to be British!

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