HMS Queen Elizabeth has sailed from Portsmouth Naval Base for the first time since arriving at her home port in August. The Royal Navy’s future flagship has embarked on the next set of sea trials to test the £3 billion ship’s capability.
Captain of Portsmouth Naval Base, Captain Bill Oliphant said: “HMS Queen Elizabeth has been in Portsmouth Naval Base for two months of planned maintenance to allow her to sail to complete her sea trials today.
“This period at sea will mark an extremely significant milestone in the life of the ship leading towards her acceptance into the Royal Navy at her commissioning later this year, back in her home port of Portsmouth.”
HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to be at sea for the next month and will be delivered to the Royal Navy by the end of the year; an exciting finale in 2017 – ‘The Year of the Navy.
Her first phase of sea trials, conducted earlier this year, demonstrated the platform stability and maneuverability. Commanding Officer Captain Jerry Kyd, said “She was stable and strong, which is important for aviation operations from an aircraft carrier flight deck. Very quickly we were able to run her at full power and she performed extremely well.”
The 65,000 ton carrier is the biggest and most advanced warship to have ever been built by the Royal Navy and can accommodate up to 1,600 personnel, which would include a full air crew, but also provides space for embarked personnel such as Royal Marines.
The design, build and development of the Queen Elizabeth Class has been a truly British effort, involving every region in the UK. Shipyards in six cities across the UK have constructed sections of the aircraft carriers and while many parts of the carrier arrived in Rosyth by road, the major sections needed to be transported by barge around the coast of the UK.
HMS Prince of Wales, the second of the fleet’s new aircraft carriers, is in the final phases of construction in Rosyth Dockyard and is expected to be floated out of its giant dock next spring.
To date, construction of the two ships have devoured 51 million man hours - enough to keep one person occupied for more than 5,800 years. There are 10,000 jobs across the UK supported by the Queen Elizabeth Class program.
The Queen Elizabeth Class are assembled in Britain’s largest dock by Britain’s largest crane. The Goliath Crane has a 1,000 ton lifting capacity which means it can lift an entire Royal Navy mine hunter vessel.
The Long Range Radar above the forward island can track up to 1,000 contacts in the air or on the sea in a 250 mile radius. The Artisan 3D radar above the aft island can track a tennis ball travelling at three times the speed of sound The QE Class have a range of 10,000 nautical miles
The QE Class can convert sea water into more than 500 tons of drinking water each day, which is for both the crew and providing humanitarian relief.
The QE Class carriers have a 50 year service life. That means the last Captain is likely not yet born and there will be crew members whose parents are not yet born.