The date that HMS Queen Elizabeth will depart Rosyth for the first time on trials has been discovered.

Coinciding with the tides and the booking of various tugs, it’s estimated that HMS Queen Elizabeth will sail between the 21st and 24th of this month. This has not been confirmed by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance.

According to a source at Rosyth, the rumour mill supports this:

“Obviously most of us don’t know the exact time as that’ll depend on a multitude of factors but as far as I’m aware from what I’ve been told, Queen Elizabeth will sail in around two weeks.”

Another source tells us that the plan is for the vessel to depart on the 21st at noon and anchor in river. All going well,  the supercarrier will sail under the bridges around 18:00, weather permitting.

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.”

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.

According to Bob Hawkins MBE, First Lieutenant of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth the plan was for the carrier to sail in March, he was quoted here (in mid 2016):

“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.”

Recently Merlin helicopters of 820 Naval Air Squadron wrapped up an exercise in Scotland to prepare them for operating from HMS Queen Elizabeth. Merlin helicopters will be the first aircraft to begin flying from HMS Queen Elizabeth later this year, soon followed by Apache, Wildcat, Chinook and F-35 next year.

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Mike R

I hope they all have a productive time doing sea trials on QE, because if Corbyn gets into power he will probably sell it to a foreign navy and scrap the Type 26 plus at least two Successor subs as they are contrary to his global ideas. More Type 31’s and possibly diesel-electric subs to make up the numbers and cancellation of all F-35B’s a certainty.

Keith Millet



I am a bit bemused that someone attempting to be Prime Minister believes in unilateral nuclear disarmament contrary to the policies of the party he leads. So we can kiss goodbye to ‘Dreadnought’ subs. Someone who has given political comfort to, and lauded, (along with the woman who could be Home Secretary and the man who could be Chancellor) the murdering scum of the IRA. Indeed someone who condemns the Manchester bombing by a lone idiot and yet wrote in a Labour paper that the Brighton bomb was a good thing as there were ‘four fewer Tories’. So we can… Read more »

David Southern

I’m a bit surprised anyone thinks he has a chance!


I do hope Corbin maintains the two carriers, if he does realize power on the 8th June. I fear one of these vessels will go to the highest bidder within the next five years, if simply to offset his huge welfare programmes. There are some inviting opportunities for reducing the carrier force to just one, it could curtail F35 procurement to a much low number, thus allowing more savings.

Under Corbin, defence will be a soft target in his quest for improved social projects, so we better get ready for such actions.


It’s worse than that he doesn’t actually believe in the nation!


the opposite, if he scrapped Trident the conventional forces could be much strengthened


Corbyn is the best chance for our country and our future. We are not communists and to take the piss when you are all hiding in your safe little part of the net repeating each others stupid sentiments is a bit rich. Now i can’t wait to see the Queen Elizabeth come into Portsmouth and i know she’ll be with us for a long time. See ya COMRADES!


jc4pm Such a shame that your Trotsky heroes Corbyn, McDonnell and Abbott hero were beaten so badly last night. And beaten even when the Tories were happily shooting themselves in both feet and holing themselves below their waterline (to mix metaphors). He managed 3 seats more than Brown did in 2010 and the BBC celebrate it like a victory. The Tories won some 22% more seats and reached a majority albeit reduced despite the MSM saying otherwise and failing to understand the Commons numbers: Numerical Majority: 326 Less 7 Sinn Fein seats: 319 less Speaker: 318 Seats won: 318 (with… Read more »

Ian wright

Hope she takes some big tugs in case of breakdowns.

Steven Jones

LOL, exactly what i was thinking

David Stone

Looking forward to it and her arrival in Pompey

Mr Bell

Ok firstly she will not breakdown. Have some faith chaps. This is British engineering at its best.
secondly I do not think labour will win under Corbyn. Some of his policies on a fairer society are needed but he is to weak on defence and security.
QE class is going to be a world class carrier and should be our national flagship for the next 50 years. Brilliant ship actually good value for money for its capabilities. Pity political interference by Blair then Brown then Cameron delayed the project and added billions to the eventual cost.


Mr Bell – You pretty much covered it all there. QE will prove we can do the big things when we put our collective minds to it.

David Stephen

Well said Mr Bell.

:Larry Sevitt

OK good luck to the Q E hope all goes well look forward to seeing her in Portsmouth


Just had a thought (I know I know ..) it would be a bit awkward if USMC F-35Bs were flying off the QE before the Ford class retrieved any F-35Cs let alone launched them ….


At last!!!! been waiting a long time to see the first of these to ships enter service with the Royal Navy. The men and women who are building these ships must be so proud of their achievement. Anyone reading this site for godsakes don’t vote for Corbyn and his communists!


T W – The first qualification for being a Corbyn supporter and member of Momentum is to not read anything outside their own little circle. Factual debate is just not ‘right on comrade’.

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James Alfred Gilbert

She looks lovely.I hope everyone aboard has a safe and memorable journey wherevery the ship takes them.and whatever she is called upon to do that everyone returns home safe and sound good luck R08 ..