BRITAIN’S biggest warship HMS Queen Elizabeth has safely returned to Rosyth Dockyard in Scotland – and she’s a stone’s throw from her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales.
Plans to navigate the £3.1bn Royal Navy aircraft carrier into the port were scuppered by poor weather conditions on Thursday, three days after she left Portsmouth.
But bosses of the ship’s official Twitter account confirmed this afternoon she has now been reversed into place and is preparing to undergo vital maintenance work on her hull.
A video shared by the account showed the navy’s future flagship settled metres away from HMS Prince of Wales.
Together, the pair weigh more than 130,000 tonnes.
But to get there HMS Queen Elizabeth first had to conquer a narrow entrance to the dockyard, with very little space between her flanks and two walls of concrete.
Upon arrival, a spokesperson for the ship said on Twitter: ‘And breathe out.… Good afternoon Rosyth!’
They added: ‘And good afternoon R09! [the pennant number of HMS Prince of Wales]’
Today is not HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first time at Rosyth, the dockyard is where she was assembled and floated, before setting sail for her home port of Portsmouth in July, 2017.
Since then she has crossed the Atlantic to conduct historic trials with F35B Lightning test fighter jets in the USA and worked up toward her official in-service date of 2020.
Sailing back into Scottish waters, her commanding officer, Captain Nick Cooke-Priest 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.’
Final preparation work is currently taking place to complete HMS Prince of Wales before she sets sail later this year.
The 280m-long aircraft carrier is expected to make her maiden voyage to Portsmouth in the autumn.
HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are the largest warships ever constructed for the Royal Navy.
They are known as the service’s Queen Elizabeth-class carriers, in honour of the WW1 era super-dreadnought Queen Elizabeth.