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HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first QE Class aircraft carrier takes to sea for the 1st. time

Tuesday, June 27th 2017 - 19:29 UTC
Full article 15 comments
 HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first QE Class aircraft carrier, set sail from Rosyth to commence first stage sea trials off the north-east of Scotland. HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first QE Class aircraft carrier, set sail from Rosyth to commence first stage sea trials off the north-east of Scotland.

The largest warship ever built in the UK eased into the Firth of Forth as it set out on two years of sea trials HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier, left her dock in Scotland in a delicate operation that took around three hours.

 The largest warship ever built in the UK eased into the Firth of Forth as it set out on two years of sea trials HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier, left her dock in Scotland in a delicate operation that took around three hours.

She is named after Elizabeth the first and is the second ship to carry the name - the first was a First World War battleship.

More than 700 crew are onboard, from seamen to aircraft engineers, dentists to force protection. The oldest crew member is 58 and the youngest 17, although the average age is in the early twenties.

In recent weeks they have been practising drills and familiarising themselves with their new ship.

Sailing her out of the basin she was built in needed precise calculations and nerves of steel. At high tide, she was guided through a narrow exit in the harbour. This had been widened but still only allowed 14 inches either side to spare.

Under the water line there was just half a metre between the bottom of the ship and the seabed.

The carrier then dropped anchor after just a few hundred metres.

At low tide, she will make her approach towards the three Forth bridges close to midnight, sailing at 3-4 knots; any faster and suction will pull her downwards into the river - an effect known as 'squat'.

The first two road bridges can flex by up to three metres in high winds but the third, the iconic Forth Bridge, poses its own challenge - height.

A radar mast will be hydraulically lowered to make room for the ship to pass underneath. Even so, were a person to stand on the highest point of her, and reach up, they would be able to touch the Forth Bridge as they sailed through.

“It is like driving your car into a car park you go 'oh my god' and dip in your seat. It is exactly the same feeling as that,” said Captain Jerry Kyd, who has previously commanded the UK's last two aircraft carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Illustrious.

The whole process could take more than 10 hours.

The following six weeks will be spent in the North Sea and Moray Firth “proving systems” - she will finally sail into her home port of Portsmouth sometime in the autumn.

Flight trials will begin off the eastern seaboard of the United States in October 2018.

HMS Queen Elizabeth has taken more than eight years to build and is the first of two new carriers for the Navy; a second, the Prince of Wales, will follow in two years' time.

Together they will cost over £6bn, a price tag which the ship's first commanding officer defends as value for money.

“You look at all the premier nations around the world and why is it that every nation in the top tier are investing billions of dollars in aircraft carriers? Is it just us or has everyone got it wrong here?” Cptn Kyd points out.

“The reason being is they provide the government, very simply, with an incredibly flexible tool that is not just about war fighting.

”This is about deterrence, coercion, political signalling and providing a huge sea base - don't forget it is not a ship - it is a sea base for disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, defence engagement and selling British industry abroad.”

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

“This is a historic moment for the UK as our new aircraft carrier takes to sea for the very first time. This floating fortress is by far the most powerful ship ever built in Britain that will enable us to tackle multiple and changing threats across the globe.

“HMS Queen Elizabeth is an enduring example of British imagination, ingenuity, invention that will help keep us safe for decades to come. She is built by the best, crewed by the best and will deliver for Britain.

“For the next fifty years she will deploy around the world, demonstrating British power and our commitment to confronting the emerging challenges from a dangerous world. The whole country can be proud of this national achievement. ”

More information from the Royal Navy

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Marti Llazo

    “You look at all the premier nations around the world and why is it that every nation in the top tier are investing billions of dollars in aircraft carriers? ”

    Why? Because of some of those habitually misbehaving fifth-tier non-premier nations.

    Sí, sabés quien sos. ¿Viste?

    Jun 27th, 2017 - 08:44 pm +2
  • Marti Llazo

    Hepathetic is evidently unaware of the nature of protection against antiship missiles and similar threats. It is important to leave 1982 behind and acknowledge current developments. This includes a three-layer close-in anti-missile defence system with a convincingly high Pk.

    Jun 28th, 2017 - 12:41 am +2
  • Clyde15

    Hepatia

    As you continually parrot “ what has this got to do with a news site about the S.Atlantic” and still you comment

    Helicopter carrier ? So the F-35 is a helicopter ? The US is building more and larger carriers so they are also wrong in their strategy.

    India ,Russia and China are also building carriers as fast as they can.

    So,it's only the UK who have got it wrong ? Not that you have an anti-British bias ?

    “This ship is the manifestation in steel of why the US needs to get out of NATO.”

    A pretty stupid statement but what we expect from you. You haven't thought it through...as per usual. I see that the USMC will be deployed on it with a flight of F-35's along with the Fleet Air Arm when she enters service. Your government and service chiefs seem to disagree with you but, of course, you know better than them.

    PYT.

    There are possible threats other than ISLAMIC fundamentalists.

    The Voice

    Of course we are back to our anti-Scottish rants. Are you saying that the ships were 100% Scottish designed and manufactured and that NO ENGLISH company had any input into their build.

    Portsmouth, Birkenhead, Hebburn and Appledore built 7 of the ships structures to be assembled at Rosyth. In addition the main engines were RR., Wartsila (Finnish)
    will supply the generators and Corus supplied the steel...no steel works left in Scotland.

    The bulk of the cost apart from assembly will be made up from different sources...the UK component in England. As Bae is a UK company, the profits will be made in England.

    in Rosyth the workers will also include people from all over the UK.

    When the Carrier is based in Portsmouth then there will be an accruing benefit to the economy for decades...IN ENGLAND !

    As for Gordon Brown, I presume that he and the cabinet took advice from the service chiefs on this matter. Would your Tory chums have done anything different ? Maybe cancel it ?

    We could get some more frigates if they dumped the HST which will benefit only the S.E.

    Jun 28th, 2017 - 11:00 am +2
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