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Montevideo, March 23rd 2023 - 23:01 UTC




Wednesday, June 28th 2017 - 15:07 UTC
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Type 23 frigates Sutherland and Iron Duke have now joined the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier Type 23 frigates Sutherland and Iron Duke have now joined the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier

Two Royal Navy frigates have joined HMS Queen Elizabeth to secure the seas around the giant aircraft carrier as she embarks on her maiden sea trials. HMS Sutherland and HMS Iron Duke are escorting the Royal Navy's largest ever warship as she conducts vital system tests off the coast of Scotland today.

 HMS Queen Elizabeth left Rosyth, where she has been under construction since 2014, on Monday with 700 sailors and 200 industry contractors on board.

Type 23 frigates Sutherland and Iron Duke have now joined the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier, along with Merlin Mk2 helicopters of the Fleet Air Arm, to guard the seas as the trials get under way.

Commander Andrew Canale, the Commanding Officer of HMS Sutherland, said: “It is a huge honour for us all in HMS Sutherland to be the first ship to escort HMS Queen Elizabeth on her maiden sea voyage. This is a new chapter in the history of the Royal Navy in which our aircraft carriers will have the ability to project power globally for the next 50 years.

”Everyone in HMS Sutherland is proud to be involved in this historic occasion. For me and all my ship's company, seeing her on the ocean waves for the first time is a sight we will never forget.“

The sea trials under way of the coast of Scotland are designed to test the carrier's engines and propulsion systems, plus her ability to produce fresh water, cope with sewage, feed the crew, and supply those on board with electricity.

Lieutenant Dominic Rotherham, the flight observer of HMS Sutherland's embarked Merlin Mk2 flight crew, said: ”Today we were tasked with securing the seas around HMS Queen Elizabeth to make sure she is safe to conduct her sea trials. As an observer in the Fleet Air Arm, seeing her from the air for the first time brought home to me the scale of the future flagship and the power she will represent overseas.

“It is a privilege to fly from HMS Sutherland's flight deck, but I'm also excited to one day operate from HMS Queen Elizabeth.”

The carrier's departure from Rosyth on Monday is one highlight of a national effort which has involved more than 10,000 people across the land - not least six shipyards - clocking up 51,000,000 man hours.

There were just 35cm either side of the carrier's gigantic hull as she squeezed through the lock at Rosyth, and a mere 50cm separated the keel from the lock bottom as 11 tugs assisted Queen Elizabeth into the Forth before she began her maiden voyage. (RN)

Top Comments

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  • Pete Bog


    “With drones capable of frying the systems of such vessels”

    “ I would not be surprised if one day Argentina has to clean up the remains of this vessel from the Antarctic waters”

    I would be extremely surprised as Argentina is more likely to sink it's own ships than one protected by a T45. However, as Argentina sunk Invincible and Hermes 5 times in 1982 and they still sailed back to the UK, we would be able to recover the QE 2 as many times as we liked.

    The aircraft carrier would not be without a T45 to escort.

    So make sure your drones are smaller than golf balls.

    Jun 29th, 2017 - 12:58 pm +8
  • Pete Bog


    ”The question is why is this piece appearing in Mercopenguin, a propaganda organ supposedly devoted to America, South America and the “South Atlantic”?

    Because soon HMS Queen Elizabeth will be in the North Atlantic which strangely enough is connected to the South Atlantic, ( so she can sail to the British Atlantic stepping stones- Gibraltar (reasonably near to the Atlantic Ocean), Ascension Island, St Helena, Tristan Da Cunha, Gough Island, The Falkland Islands, South Georgia, South Shetlands and British Antarctic Territory, ALL part of British Territorial Integrity of which the Falkland Islands are linked through a geographical chain).

    Queen Elizabeth and her compliment of Lightning 2's will be capable of deployment to thwart Argentina's imperialist aspirations, and support the UN principle of self determination, and promotion of the Implementation of INDEPENDENCE for colonial peoples in the South Atlantic within 25 years.

    Jun 29th, 2017 - 11:22 am +7
  • Clyde15


    Carriers stay far out at sea with a protective screen of escorts around them PLUS their own strike aircraft. Radars in use can pick up a golf ball sized object moving at supersonic speed and destroy it.

    Who at present have these drones and mini subs.? Don't you think that the military are aware of developments and may have answers to them that your Googling attempts don't know about.

    If our carriers are are in danger, why do the Chinese and Indians race to build their own.

    Before you post any more sci-fi scenarios, read up on the subject.

    Jun 29th, 2017 - 03:37 pm +7
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