HMS Queen Elizabeth: Royal Navy carrier ‘safely’ arrives in Rosyth after leaving Portsmouth

HMS Queen Elizabeth has ‘safely’ arrived in Rosyth less than 48 hours after sailing from her home in Portsmouth.

Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 12:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 12:17 pm
HMS Queen Elizabeth left Portsmouth on Monday morning. Picture: Sarah Standing

The Royal Navy carrier left HMNB Portsmouth on Monday morning at around 10.30am to travel up north to the dry-dock in Scotland. 

HMS Queen Elizabeth’s official account live tweeted her ‘commute’ as she sailed passed the Forth Bridges this morning.

They wrote: ‘Well that wasn't your typical morning commute! Three bridges, two Queen 's and a Prince @HMSPWLS Safely back to where it all began. #Rosyth #Scotland.’ 

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Commanding Officer, Captain Nick Cooke-Pries, said: ‘A lot of water has already passed under our keel since we left Rosyth in 2017.

‘Our return here is yet another first for HMS Queen Elizabeth and another important step on her journey as Britain generates a big deck carrier strike capability.’

The carrier will be taken into the inner basin of the dry dock, past her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales.

HMS Queen Elizabeth left Portsmouth on Monday morning. Picture: Sarah Standing

The head of Marine Engineering on board, Commander Mark Hamilton, said: ‘This routine maintenance will include changing many of the large underwater valves, inspecting the rudders, propellers and stabilisers, as well as cleaning and touching up the underwater paint scheme.

‘Having completed this work, HMS Queen Elizabeth should not have to dry dock again for another six years.’

Why is HMS Queen Elizabeth sailing to Scotland? 

After sailing out of Portsmouth on Monday, the Royal Navy aircraft carrier is returning to the dry-dock in Rosyth, the place she was assembled. 

It is on the Firth of Forth in the East of Scotland, not far from Dunfermline.

She is heading back to the dry-dock, where she will effectively be taken out of the water, for routine maintenance work. 

Defence minister Stuart Andrew said: ‘After a phenomenal year of trials off the east coast of the US, this dry-docking contract is an important step for HMS Queen Elizabeth as she gears up for operations.

‘The largest ship in our Royal Navy’s history, which was assembled in Rosyth, will now return for this multi-million-pound routine maintenance work as she gets set to represent Britain across the world for decades to come.’

Russell Brown from Defence Equipment and Support added: ‘The teams at Defence Equipment and Support are committed to bringing the national flagships into operational service and this dry docking is a crucial step on that journey.

‘This significant national enterprise is built upon the excellent relationships across defence and the unparalleled skills within UK industry.’

What are HMS Queen Elizabeth’s plans for the rest of 2019? 

The aircraft carrier last left Portsmouth in August for flight tests in the USA and returned in December 2018. 

She will be returning to America later in the year for Westlant19, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed. 

HMS Queen Elizabeth will be carrying out operational testing with F-35 jets on the deployment, following on from the developmental tests conducted last year.