Supercarrier HMS Queen Elizabeth will sail for the second phase of her sea trials later today.

The ship will leave Portsmouth around 12:45 according to the Queen’s Harbour Master timetable.

The primary purpose of the Queen’s Harbour Master (QHM) is to protect the port, the Royal Navy and its vessels and other government assets. QHM is part of the Ministry of Defence.

Queen Elizabeth sailed on the 26th of June 2017 for the first stage of her sea trials to monitor speed, manoeuvrability, power and propulsion as well as undertaking additional tests on her levels of readiness.

Once this was accomplished, the ship took to the open sea off the east coast of Scotland to undertake the first set of trials, including handling and speed tests. During this period, Queen Elizabeth was accompanied by a pair of Type 23 frigates, HMS Sutherland and HMS Iron Duke, acting as escorts.

The first aircraft to land on the ship was a Merlin HM.2 of 820 Naval Air Squadron on the 3rd July. Following initial runs in and around the Firth of Forth, the carrier was taken further north to the Moray Firth, during which period the ship encountered the Cunard cruise liner Queen Elizabeth.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is now heading back to sea for the second stage which aims to test her Mission Systems.

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Mike Saul
Levi Goldsteinberg

If my interested what?

Mike Saul

If you can’t work it out, I can’t be bothered to tell you



Levi’s reply flew straight over your head…

Mike Saul

Tugs getting into position, looks like she will be leaving shortly.


Why does it take so long to get a ship operational
I do know things have to get working correctly but two years after first sea trials is a long time


It doesn’t but it allows governments to spread costs over several fiscal years. In addition to training up the crew.

Ben P

New ship, new ship class, first carrier in many years. You have to make sure the ship is working properly, test its abilities and systems and get the crew used to operating a new type of ship. It will be commissioned this year and technically could be rushed to be operational if the need arises. You have also got the aviation aspect to the ship which adds complexity. You need to do sea trials with multiple types of helicopters, as well as the implementation of a completely new type of jet aircraft.

Ben P

To add another layer on top of that, the UK is still learning how operate carrier strike groups after been out of the game for so many years.


Absolutely correct. There’s also the consideration that every small problem or defect would be pounced upon by our hysterical media, so it is worth taking extra time to ensure everything is as spot on as possible, though obviously problems will no doubt arise during her trials.


Also various licences, and probably minor in situ mods. She is first of class after all.

Mike Saul

Their see goes, excellent work by the RN and staff of HMNB Portsmouth.


Nice to see her leave Portsmouth for the first time. Good luck and God speed to all on board.


Reading up (again) on the QE, is are 3 Phalanx CIWS enough for 360% cover or should there be 4?


Sure they can always turn the ship in the direction that is covered. Why pay for 360 degree protection.


Do the miniguns or 30mm bushmaster guns fitted alongside the Phalanx have any value as anti-air guns?


They do spit out 3000 rounds per minute. Id like to think at least some of them could take out an incoming missile.


The bushmasters are really only to tackle small boats or uavs

Peter Crisp

This may be a terrible solution but could we have people on deck with shoulder launched missile systems?

Daniele Mandelli

Why not? They had guys with Blowpipe in the Falklands. We’d have to buy done missiles first as unless the Stingers are still around we don’t have any, HVM Starstreak is not shoulder launched.

Daniele Mandelli

Why not? They had guys with Blowpipe in the Falklands. We’d have to buy some missiles first as unless the Stingers are still around we don’t have any, HVM Starstreak is not shoulder launched.


If they still had a crows nest they’d prob send someone up with an over and under to shoot it down.

Peter Crisp

I wonder if we’ll ever get a nice photo of them doing a full speed emergency turn?


Is Mike Saul deliberately using terrible English and grammar?

S. A. Lesser

As I watched HMS Queen Elizabeth go out of Portsmouth on her second set of trials I couldn’t help notice a couple of things; namely:
a) That she had no armaments installed! The plans state that she is supposed to have the Phalanx close range defence system and the 30mm naval gun;
b) I heard no inference to an escort? On the first trials she was supported by a frigate, so why is there nothing on hand this time!

Daniele Mandelli

There was a picture recently of QE with HMS Dragon?

Mr Bell

Sea ceptor urgently needed, said it before, will keep stating this fact in the vain hope that someone from the MOD reads UK defence journal.

Peter Norris

Can anyone answer a question about the Destroyers, I have heard that the reason for them being in port allot is that the RR engines aren’t doing very well?


Possibly a silly question but would it be possible to attach two quad pack Sea Ceptors to each of the Phalanx CIWS. The radar system Artisan is capable, the missile is cold launched, I think by using air-pressure to eject it from the launcher this then means that there is no smoke covering the flight deck or debris. This should give a good self defence package if anything get inside the CSG defence screen.