New carrier gets once-over from defence minister

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon talks to Royal Navy Lieutenant Rachel Campbell, who is the deputy navigator, on the bridge of the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier which is currently under construction in the docks at Rosyth, Fife Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon talks to Royal Navy Lieutenant Rachel Campbell, who is the deputy navigator, on the bridge of the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier which is currently under construction in the docks at Rosyth, Fife Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Engine woes end mission

0
Have your say

Watch a video about the new carriers on our website portsmouth.co.uk

The 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier, which is under construction at Rosyth, in Scotland, will be based in Portsmouth.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier which is currently under construction in the docks at Rosyth, Fife Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier which is currently under construction in the docks at Rosyth, Fife Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Mr Fallon – the former minister for Portsmouth – was happy with the progress being made on the carrier and her sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales.

Speaking after a tour of HMS Queen Elizabeth, he said: ‘I’m very pleased to see Queen Elizabeth really taking shape now and getting ready for her sea trials, which I hope will be towards the end of next year, before she sails down to Portsmouth for final fitting-out and then over to the United States to collect the jets that will fly off her.

‘After that, she’ll be ready to go out anywhere to sail the seven seas to defend us against our enemies.’

The QE Class is expected to be the centrepiece of the UK’s Royal Navy.

Each ship will provide armed forces with a four-acre military operating base which can travel up to 500 miles every day to be deployed anywhere in the world.

Once completed, they will be able to deploy up to 40 aircraft, including Apache and Chinook helicopters.

Speaking of HMS Queen Elizabeth, Portsmouth North MP and armed forces minister, Penny Mordaunt, said: ‘She will send out a very powerful message and I’m so pleased that Portsmouth is going to be her home port.’

As part of Mr Fallon’s tour, he visited the ship’s enormous gas turbines, which are now fully operational. His trip followed last month’s Strategic Defence and Security Review.

As part of this, the government revealed it would build eight new Type 26 global combat ships – five fewer than had been hoped.

These would replace the current Type 23 frigates.

However, prime minister David Cameron did hint that a new breed of ‘lightweight’ frigates could also be on the way, fuelling hopes that additional ships could boost the navy.

HMS Queen Elizabeth will come to Portsmouth in 2017.