HMS Queen Elizabeth to sail from Portsmouth to begin next bout of sea trials before trip to America
BRITAIN’S biggest warship is due to set sail from her base in Portsmouth this afternoon ahead of her next trip to America.
HMS Queen Elizabeth will be leaving from Portsmouth Naval Base at about 12.30pm, the Royal Navy has confirmed.
The mighty 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier arrived in the city almost three weeks ago following a maintenance work in Scotland.
She will be conducting additional sea trials to ensure everything is ship shape before she tackles her second trip to the US later this year.
You can watch the carrier leaving Portsmouth on our Facebook page shortly.
The vast warship – which is touted by the navy as being one of the most advanced vessels in the world – will again head to the east coast of America to carry out the second phase of flight tests with the F-35B Lightning stealth jets.
The tests will see jets landing and taking off from the £3.1bn vessel’s huge flight deck, with more complex manoeuvers being attempted.
The news comes just days after the prime minister revealed Queen Elizabeth would form part of Nato's major ‘readiness initiative’ ahead of her becoming operationally ready in 2021.
Speaking during the announcement earlier this month, Mrs May said: ‘I’m pleased to announce that Nato will soon be able to call on the UK’s Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and F-35 fighter jets to help tackle threats around the world.
‘Nato’s “readiness initiative” aims to improve the readiness of the alliance’s forces to deploy and move within Europe and across the Atlantic to safeguard international security.
‘The UK will look to make its aircraft carrier a key part of those plans as the country continues to play a leading role in the alliance which has been the cornerstone of its defence for 70 years.’
Penny Mordaunt, defence secretary and MP for Portsmouth North, added: ‘Be it projecting influence for peace, standing ready to fight, or delivering vital aid around the world, HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales, will fly the flag of a global Britain.
‘Nothing symbolises the leading role that we play in NATO more than our nation’s future flagship being ready to respond to any challenge that the Alliance may face.’