THE EXACT date and time for the arrival of the HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier into Portsmouth Naval Base has been confirmed.
According to the Royal Navy, the ship is due for arrival on Wednesday, August 16, at 7.10am.
The 65,000-tonne carrier will be the latest in a long line of Royal Navy ships to call the port home.
The Royal Navy says that due to changing weather conditions, the exact date of the carrier’s arrival could not be confirmed until now.
Preparations for the arrival of the HMS Queen Elizabeth have been ongoing for months, with the ship undergoing sea trials since setting sail from Scotland’s Rosyth dockyard in June.
The team responsible for controlling her strike force have been working on a UK-US exercise on board the USS George H W Bush, practicing for her arrival.
Personnel from 820 Naval Air Squadron have also been honing their skills from the cockpit of the Merlin Mk2 helicopters that will be on board the carrier.
Lieutenant Rob Andrews, one of the squadron’s pilots, said: ‘This is the first time I have had the chance to both see and operate with the ship and it is still very exciting and hugely rewarding.’
Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Donna Jones, says she is very excited for the ship’s arrival.
She said: ‘It is really exciting that the HMS Queen Elizabeth is arriving in Portsmouth.
‘It is a significant event for both Portsmouth and the Royal Navy, to have the largest ship built in the UK arriving in Portsmouth Naval Base – the staff there all seem to be excited.
‘We were working towards a deadline for August 18, so this is a little earlier than expected – this will cause some issues in terms of road closures and the like, but at Portsmouth City Council we will do what we can to make sure everything is in order for the carrier’s arrival.’
According to the Royal Navy, with only three other countries in the world building aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth will give Britain the capability to lead the way in tackling global issues in an increasingly uncertain world, from providing humanitarian relief to high-end war fighting.