THE Royal Navy carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has arrived in Canada, in her first visit to the country.
The 65,000 tonne warship is in the middle of the Westlant 19 operation, putting both the carrier and the new F-25B Lightning stealth jets through their paces.
Since the start of the operation, the focus has been on marines of 42 Commando practising ‘vertical assaults’ by roping on to the carrier’s huge flight deck from the Merlin helicopters, and the first ‘rapid refuelling’ of Queen Elizabeth mid-ocean.
The carrier has made Canada her first port of call, since crossing the Atlantic from her home port of Portsmouth.
Welcoming the carrier in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Commander of the Maritime Forces Atlantic (COMMARLANT), Rear Admiral Craig Baines of the Royal Canadian Navy said: ‘The Royal Canadian Navy and the sailors of Maritime Forces Atlantic are pleased to welcome and host one of our oldest allies to our home station of Halifax.
‘We recognise that our city has a unique place in the heart of the Royal Navy and this week’s visit represents a meeting of the old and the new – emphasising the Royal Navy’s historical ties to one of Canada’s oldest ports and providing the opportunity for the Royal Navy to showcase their newest capability.’
The HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group includes destroyer HMS Dragon and the tanker RFA Tideforce, both of which also arrived in Halifax today. They will soon be joined by HMS Northumberland when they return to sea.