According to a member of the ships company we spoke to, HMS Queen Elizabeth is likely to sail soon with the crew having been told when to expect to sail.
This has not been confirmed officially by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance and readers intending to see the ship should note that the bridges over the Forth will be closed to the public as the vessel departs.
A member of the ships company we spoke to told the UK Defence Journal:
“We are expected to sail on Sunday maybe a day sooner but expect a sail date next week.”
The potential for a delay until next week is because “the weather forecast for the weekend isn’t great” we were told.
The earlier news of the slippage in trials of HMS Queen Elizabeth is no secret, the ship was supposed to sail in Spring. In such complex engineering projects, this type of occurrence isn’t a cause for concern nor is it unusual. HMS Queen Elizabeth, after all, is essentially a prototype and the Ministry of Defence can’t afford to get it wrong.
Defence secretary Michael Fallon said:
“It has always been our intention that Queen Elizabeth should be accepted into the Royal Navy before the end of this year. We are not giving specific dates as to when the sea trials are likely to commence.”
— UK Defence Journal (@UKDefJournal) June 21, 2017
Lt Gen. Mark Poffley, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff for Military Capability, said:
“There have been a series of technical issues associated with bringing the vessel to the point where she can commence her sea trials.”
It is understood that this minor delay is ‘not outside the tolerance’ of the programme.