Preparations under way for section of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier to leave Portsmouth

30 Battery 16 Regiment Royal Artillery lead the annual St George's Day parade through Emsworth town centre.'Picture Ian Hargreaves (180463-23)

Cheers erupt as soldiers march through Emsworth for St George’s Day

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FINAL preparations are being made for a huge 6,000-tonne section of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier to leave the yard at Portsmouth Naval Base.

The mid-section of the hull of HMS Queen Elizabeth, called Lower Block 02, is due to sail 500 miles north on a barge to Rosyth in Scotland on May 25.

It has taken 1,300 BAE Systems workers 28 months to build the block in Portsmouth.

It has now been fully sealed and is 80 per cent fitted out with cabins, wash rooms and recreation areas. It also houses two 170-tonne diesel engines which each produce enough energy to power the whole of Portsmouth.

Lower Block 02 will follow a 1,820-tonne stern section which left Portsmouth earlier this month to go up to Rosyth where the 65,000-tonne warship is being finally assembled.

Weather permitting, it will be loaded out of the yard onto a on May 15 ahead of sailing 10 days later.