HMS Queen Elizabeth is planned to sail in Spring for 11 weeks of sea trials in the North Sea.

The Contractor Sea Trials period will consist of five weeks at sea, one week alongside and five weeks at sea and then if all goes well, she will head to Portsmouth.

There has been speculation however that the Sea Trials may have slipped to Summer with the government saying recently:

“HMS Queen Elizabeth, will sail from Rosyth, ready to conduct sea trials in summer and debut in Portsmouth later in the year.”

Whether or not this is an error remains to be seen.

According to Bob Hawkins MBE, First Lieutenant of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, quoted here:

“The build process continues up here in Rosyth. Some of you may have experienced this from the RN side of the house, perhaps in a new class of ship, in a new build. The frustrations are many and varied. Add to this the sheer scale and complexity of the Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) aircraft carriers and you can imagine that each day brings a new challenge in moving towards Ships Staff Move On Board (SSMOB) then its sequel, Ready For Sea Date (RFSD).

SSMOB is planned for 9 January; RFSD 10 March. Using Andrew St George’s 12 principles of Leadership in the Royal Navy, I subscribe to his No.2, Cheerfulness. A glass half empty as opposed to a glass half full approach is a choice, and I choose to remain optimistic. Draw from that what you will.

Timing of First Entry Portsmouth (FEP) is dependent upon achieving RFSD and the subsequent success of Power and Propulsion Trials. This initial Contractor Sea Trials period we call euphemistically ‘5-1-5’, i.e. from RFSD, five weeks at sea, one week alongside (Invergordon), five weeks at sea, then FEP: a standard package that must be executed in full from whichever start date we achieve. Clearly, FEP will shift right if RFSD does, or indeed if ‘5-1-5’ needs to be extended to accommodate any set-backs thrown up during the trials.”

Ian Booth, managing director of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance said:

“Pretty much everything is now installed in the ship and working. We’ve had lots of prior factory testing before putting systems on board and so far, it’s all looking pretty good.

Over the next few months we will finish compartment handovers, and complete work to coat the flight deck. We will also conduct harbour events and acceptance trials for virtually all systems – propulsion, steering, navigation, or communications – here [at Rosyth] before we go.”

Merlin helicopters will be the first aircraft to begin flying from HMS Queen Elizabeth, soon followed by Apache, Wildcat, Chinook and F-35.

Merlins will start simple flight activities in March 2017 during the vessels sea trials and then first-class flight trials begin in early 2018, F-35 begins flying from the deck later in the year.

Former First Sea Lord George Zambellas said:

“When the first of our new carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth, deploys on her first mission in a few years, with fifth generation fighters and drones embarked, she will scotch at a stroke any talk of Britain’s retreat from the world.”



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Great news, this is what we need, at last, well done to all, the Fleet Air Arm and its guests are going to love this and its capabilities. I’m concerned when it’s operating we will have enough Merlins.. quote;. “and four or five Merlin for airborne early warning;” So will we have enough Merlin’s for ASW, and all the other duties including disaster relief etc. training, and all the other ships and a second Carrier (if fully operational in a few years time and not just used when this one is in refit?), when Sea Kings go and we use… Read more »


When you get some new/better pictures of her decks, be sure to update us won’t you?


Do you know the date it will dock in Portsmouth?

p appleby

any dates for her visit to Portsmouth. thanx.


Yes take some picture fast could be the last time we see this ship afloat China Carrier Killer : DF-21D The Fastest Missile in the World it goes up like ballistic Missile then it goes down travelling at Mach 10, its sensor guide it like a cruise missile homing down on and the carrier is sitting duck… its China secret weapon DF-21D. This what US Navy is afraid of. And the rubbish ships we build will not be able to protect her once on patrol. that is if we have any left might be able to put a couple of… Read more »


Have just read that the first batch 42 X F35 are dangerous due to shortcuts in the safety process also faults with the landing process computerised cotrols and clutch these issues may never be fixed bugs in 1 million lines of code this has a knock on affect due to the fact the the two UK carriers have only this aircraft no other aircraft can land on our CARRIERS due to No CATS and TRAPS. Uk might have to convert one of the carriers due the Uk government being so short sighted with this aircraft and Carrier

N Roach

The biggest waste of money the MOD has ever spent.
Should have used it to build up Ship numbers and troops
on the ground. Wonderful targets for Putin after he takes
out it’s facilities in Portsmouth, with nowhere to go he can
play with them for hours.

stephen rodgers

do you no when aircraft carrier is docking at Portsmouth so I can bring my father down he sent 15 years in the navy he will be 86 next year .it would be great to bring him down.thankyou Stephen SON


Will they be having a open day for the public?