HMS Queen Elizabeth will not be leaving Portsmouth today after a software glitched caused the hangar sprinkler system to turn on.

The fault is now understood to have been repaired.

We understand that the system turned on after a computer system ‘restart test’. With multiple sources reporting that
Captain Kydd would be ‘unhappy to sail with fault in fire suppression system.’

A Royal Navy spokesperson said:

“We can confirm that following a routine exercise alongside, the fire warning system was inadvertently triggered on-board HMS Queen Elizabeth and some sprays activated, but she remains on track with her trials programme.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth will sail from her home port for rotary wing trials at sea in the next day or so, where she will undergo deck trials with Royal Navy Merlin helicopters.

Lieutenant Commander Jim Cobbett said:

“The Merlins of 820 NAS are old friends of ours. The Squadron was the first rotary Unit to embark with us up in Scotland when we came out of build. These Sea Acceptance Trials (Air) or ‘SAT (Air)’ has proved the ship’s aircraft services are ready for action with a live helicopter and that everything functions correctly.

Introducing the Ship to aviation and aviation to the Ship is all part of the learning structure we are going through. We are taking it slowly at first before we embark whole squadrons of rotary and fixed wing aircraft.”

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.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

God, I hope we don’t get the usual hysterical overreaction from the British press about this minor issue.


Unfortunately not the case, the usual rags are all over this.

Rob Collinson

This what the trials are for!

Just the same as snagging when finishing a building project, albeit on significantly more complex scale!

Keep up the great work, crew of HMS Queen Elizabeth.


As Terry Thomas would have said, ‘What an absolute shower!’


Usually you connect to compressed air to check sprinklers …then you don’t cover everything in water. Or alternatively you place plastic tubing over the sprinkler heads to direct the water straight to the drains. Anyway If you are testing the control system….always isolate the water first, shut the valve.!!! Anyway ShIt happens…I have set sprinklers off during testing …in an empty magazine…but never managed to get it filmed and in the papers! The issue will be if the water was from the fireman as then there will be salt contamination that needs cleaning up and flushing from the pipe work… Read more »

Stephen sedgwick

British Gibraltar awaits you


All this over a sprinkler system? I don’t know of a single large building that didn’t have issues with it’s mechanical and electrical systems and they aren’t mobile. Really has been for a first in class only a few issues- minor seeping near propellers (non-issue in civilian shipping), a faulty sprinkler, and what else’s? If I remember right it was Kitty Hawk (first in class) that broke down on her shakedown cruise. With I might add President Kennedy on board. Not a good first impression but she was wonderful ship not the luckiest one in the USN but a good… Read more »


a bigger story would be that they didn’t work!


I knew it, what a waste of money, our 3.1 billion carrier has flooded and is now sinking, what a shambles. The money should be spent on creating trade deals with other countries like South Africa


when all of the above happened social media didn’t exist.
The fact that some clown filmed the sprays incident and released it to the press is a major concern. No doubt the miscreant is leaning the error of there ways
Extra dits on daily orders from today I guess to reinforce the official position that unauthorized contact with the press is a big no no. Some one will be at Table before the CO shortly and will be looking at a big fine at the very least.


If we had a rational press, able to keep things in perspective and capable of understanding what was trivial and what was serious in terms of incidents like this, it wouldn’t really be an issue. But, of course, we don’t. The press and media in general seems hell bent on putting the worst possible spin on stories and to want to relate the news in terms of a soap opera where everything is a crisis and there is constant drama. It is, of course, all aimed at selling newspapers and getting you to click on their links. People with little… Read more »


Oh dear, the QE has a problem with its sprinkler.


Levi Goldsteinberg

The only real bad news here is those poor sailors in the hangar bay that had to have a cold shower while at work