HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives back in Portsmouth in first late night entry after latest F-35 trials

HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed back into Portsmouth overnight.

Friday, 14th February 2020, 8:37 am
Updated Friday, 14th February 2020, 8:37 am

The Royal Navy carrier returned from her latest round of flight trials with the F-35 jets in the early hours of Friday.

It was HMS Queen Elizabeth's first night entry into Portsmouth harbour.

The carrier’s official twitter account said that she was returning to her home port after successfully ‘finishing F35 and 824NAS flying early’.

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She sailed back into Portsmouth exactly three weeks after leaving, making this the shortest time the 65,000-tonne carrier has spent at sea with the F35s.

Yesterday The News reported that the Royal Navy insisted the carrier’s late night return had always been ‘planned’ and declined to comment on whether the surprise return was due to an unexpected fault on the ship.

However, one senior naval source said the move to bring in the ship was bizarre and claimed it could indicate a fault had been identified that was too difficult to fix at sea.

HMS Queen Elizabeth pictured passing HMS Prince of Wales in December after returning to Portsmouth following the completion of her mission overseas in the US testing Britain's new stealth jet, the F-35. Picture: Habibur Rahman

HMS Queen Elizabeth’s account tweeted: 'And that is now us safely #Home after successfully finishing #UKF35 and 824NAS flying early.

‘Special mention to our Navigator who's last entry will go into the record books as the first night one.’

Were you up early enough to catch HMS Queen Elizabeth’s return this morning? Let us know in the comments below!