Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth met up with nuclear submarine HMS Trenchant on the River Clyde in Scotland this weekend.

The carrier is in the area for planned trials and training ahead of its first deployment this spring, more about that below.

The vessel is expected to stay in the area relatively close to Gourock for a short while before heading to the the Northern Ammunition Jetty in nearby Glen Mallan.

Twitter user Stuart (@wolfie250) granted the UK Defence Journal permission to share the following, and very striking, photos. If you don’t follow Stuart, we would recommend you do so.

What’s next for HMS Queen Elizabeth?

The Ministry of Defence say that HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Carrier Strike Group’s capabilities will be on show during Exercise ‘Strike Warrior’, which will take place off the coast of Scotland in May.

HMS Queen Elizabeth (and 15 F-35B jets) sailing with HMS Defender, HMS Diamond, HMS Northumberland, HMS Kent, RFA Fort Victoria and RFA Tideforce in addition to the USS The Sullivans and Dutch vessel HNLMS Evertsen.

The UK-led war-fighting exercise, including several other NATO navies, will be the final test for the Carrier Strike Group before it undertakes its maiden deployment.

The Ministry of Defence say that the deployment is expected to include two Type 45 Destroyers, two Type 23 Frigates, two Royal Fleet Auxiliary logistics vessels and a submarine in addition to an American destroyer and potentially other allied vessels.

Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander UK Carrier Strike Group, said:

“The new UK Carrier Strike Group is the embodiment of British maritime power, and sits at the heart of a modernised and emboldened Royal Navy. Protected by a ring of advanced destroyers, frigates, helicopters and submarines, and equipped with fifth generation fighters, HMS Queen Elizabeth is able to strike from the sea at a time and place of our choosing; and with our NATO allies at our side, we will be ready to fight and win in the most demanding circumstances. Carrier Strike offers Britain choice and flexibility on the global stage; it reassures our friends and allies and presents a powerful deterrent to would-be adversaries.”

After the work-up trial off the west Hebrides range, HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group will head to the Pacific.

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Stephen Ball

Future carrier Strike Group,
1 Carrier= with 16-24 Fast jets, extra from ally.
1-2 Type 45 Anti Air.
1-2 Type 23 Anti Sub.
1 Type 31 General.
1 Sub.

The French only use 3 ships sometimes with it’s carrier.


I don’t think the French ever venture into the South China Sea with their carrier. If they ever did they would need additional escorts.


Why? The USN regularly have a carrier with 3 possibly 4 escorts there.


gConstant air patrols?


So do the USN Depending on what its doing and where its going they have between 1-3 ABs and a Tico plus a sub
Roosevelt has just done a FON in the SCS with 2 ABs and a Tico

Supportive Bloke

I would guess it is more to show the level of capability that can be UK sovereign deployed?


God bless all who sail in her.

Supportive Bloke

According to the Grauniad

Radakin made no direct reference to China and even maintained the polite fiction that ministers had not yet decided if this strike force, including two Type 45 destroyers, an Astute Submarine and two Type 43s, would dare enter the international waters of South China Sea.”

I never knew we had a T43 presumably meant to be T23.

Jan van der Werk

There is a necessity to maintain free and open trade routes, no argument with that. There is also a need to involve India, increasingly India is pressured by China, both by land border and its proxy Pakistan. Although taking the self-sufficiency route in equipment finally via Modi’s policies, that takes time. There is no reason why an alliance of powers including India, Australia, Japan, Vietnam and others should be instituted. India as a direct economic challenger to China and should be supported.

Barry Larking

Agree. This is perhaps being investigated and discussed behind the scenes hopefully.

Peter S

A commodore in charge of a large part of the deployable fleet. Who needs admirals?
Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear comments from a senior officer that didn’t sound like rehearsed PR bullshit?

Andy P

Good luck finding one Peter, they’ve been fluent in ‘business speak’ for years now. They wouldn’t be out of place in parliament.

Peter S

Yep- last one who impressed me was Mike Jackson.
There is a serious point in this: when all senior spokesmen, military or political, sound over scripted, no- one entirely trusts what they say.
I’m not suggesting that military leaders should start airing their views on policy( unless they are asked to) but they must be free to talk honestly about force structure, equipment and operational matters generally.
There is a further danger that constant group speak leads to group think.

Andy P

Even when giving the ever popular ‘pep talk to the chaps’, they tend to speak in ‘business speak’. As you say, people just smell the bullshit. Especially when you’re told the subjects not to bring up that might be awkward for them. Bless.


Over the years I have interacted with a number of 1 to 3 Star ranks. In my time the business speak experts go to Whitehall. The ones that are more front line minded (War Fighters as the Colonial Cousins across the pond would say) as opposed to politically minded go to other, quite literally, out of the way jobs. Two of the best 2 and 3 Star Admirals I worked with held NATO posts. Well away from the UK political scrutiny they where excellent leaders and savvy organisers when working in the NATO environment. Both retired after the NATO jobs…… Read more »

Meirion X

You sound very scripted indeed!
In contrast to Mike Jackson, of which I do like.


Just seen THAT Twitter post….PMSL

Can I go to Aberdeen and Cheltenham as well???

River Rha

Heartened to read that HMS Queen Elizabeth is In Vicinity of The Tail of The Bank, River Clyde And Due to “Bomb Up at Glen Mallan Jetty, Close to Glen Douglas and the Ardgartan Forest”: Frequently In the Locality, In a Past Life as a Cycling Youth Hostelling Participant Being A Then Committee Member of the then SYHA District Association for Where I Live. It would seem that, At this time of year, I Always Remember my Only Maternal Uncle who Died On Active Service “Aboard the HMS Convoy Escorts Duty “Commodore’s Own Destroyer” Whilst On Passage Crossing the North… Read more »