Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Mike Penning, was welcomed on board the the Queen Elizabeth class supercarriers in Rosyth.
Minister for the Armed Forces, Mike Penning MP, said:
“These magnificent ships have created thousands of jobs in Rosyth and across the UK, and I am proud to meet the men and women who are bringing them into service.
These carriers will spearhead Britain’s sea power for the next 50 years, keeping our nation safe at home and protecting our interests abroad. They are just part of our investment in a growing Royal Navy, backed by a defence budget that will rise every year for the rest of the decade.”
Jerry Kyd, the Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, said:
“The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers are the product of a pioneering partnership between UK industry and the Ministry of Defence. As the Royal Navy’s flagships for the next 50 years, these ships will employ cutting edge technology to deliver fighting power at sea and over land.
Symbolising our nation in both steel and spirit, the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers will be powerful ambassadors for Britain on the global stage, in both peace time and times of conflict. These ships truly will be at the forefront of British military power projection for decades for generations to come.”
Jon Pearson, Delivery Director for the Aircraft Carrier Alliance said:
“The scale and complexity of the QE Class programme demonstrates the ability of British Industry to deliver world-class products and capability to our Armed Forces.
Both ships are at an highly advanced state, and it was a pleasure to host the Minister on HMS Queen Elizabeth as the Aircraft Carrier Alliance prepares her for the Ship’s Company living on board early next year.”
Currently in the final stages of completion, HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to go sea for contractor trials in the New Year.
She’ll return to the Forth once those are done for a final period of fitting out and testing.
She is due in Portsmouth around the 9th of May 2017.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“Work on the Carriers is a national undertaking, with shipyards across the country, from Scotland to Devon, lending Great British brainpower and skills to the programme.”
Merlin helicopters will be the first aircraft to begin flying from HMS Queen Elizabeth, soon followed by Apache, Wildcat, Chinook and F-35.
The Queen Elizabeth is due to start sea trials next year before its first deployment in 2021, followed by its sister ship, the Prince of Wales.
It was stated that the Merlins will start simple flight activities in March 2017 and then first-class flight trials begin in early 2018.
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.”
The Queen Elizabeth class mark a change from expressing carrier power in terms of number of aircraft carried, to the number of sortie’s that can be generated from the deck. The class are not the largest class of carrier in the world but they are most likely the smallest and least expensive carrier the Royal Navy could build which still have the advantages that large carriers offer.