The mighty 65,000-tonne behemoth is the largest warship ever built for Britain and is one of two aircraft carriers in the Senior Service, with her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales, also out at sea.
Where is HMS Queen Elizabeth heading?
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The 280-metre warship has departed Portsmouth and is due to head north to Scotland.
According to the Royal Navy, the aircraft carrier will be making a return to Glen Mallen on the Clyde in Scotland ‘for a routine logistics visit’.
After this, the massive warship will then sail south, along the west coast of the UK where she is expected to visit Liverpool.
The stop-off, which the navy is hopeful will happen, will be Queen Elizabeth’s second stop in the northern city, following a trip in February 2020.
When will the aircraft carrier visit Liverpool and return to Portsmouth?
HMS Queen Elizabeth is only expected to be at sea for a few weeks.
The navy has not said exactly when the warship will return to Portsmouth.
She is currently acting as as the UK’s very high readiness strike carrier, which means she could be scrambled to tackle a variety of defence tasks and spend more time at sea.
However, as it stands now, the Royal Navy ‘hopes’ the aircraft carrier will be able to visit Liverpool ‘on her return leg to Portsmouth at the end of the month’.
It is anticipated that Queen Elizabeth will arrive back in Portsmouth either towards the end of March or early April.
What is the ship doing while at sea?
The ship will be carrying a series of shake-out drills, designed to help get the ship’s crew back into routine life while at sea.
The navy said that during HMS Queen Elizabeth’s ‘short stint at sea’ that training will ‘focus on individual, team and whole ship exercises’.
Expected drills include reacting to emergency situations and a variety of battle scenarios.
The carrier will also be working with the Commando-carrying Merlin helicopters from RNAS Yeovilton-based 846 Naval Air Squadron, the navy added.
‘The ship will be conducting further exercises and training later in the year as the carrier is kept at very high readiness to deploy anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice,’ a statement from the Senior Service said.
What about HMS Prince of Wales – what is she doing?
HMS Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister is already at sea.
The mighty warship is acting as a Nato flagship and is currently on her way to the Arctic.
Here, she will lead a task force as a Nato command ship on Exercise Cold Response.
The long-planned military drill is being led by the Norwegian armed forces.
It will see 35,000 troops from 28 nations operate together in ‘one of the harshest environments known to man’, the Royal Navy said.