HMS Queen Elizabeth has waved goodbye to Portsmouth once again.
The Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier and future flagship sailed out of her home at HMNB Portsmouth at around 10.30am today.
She will now head north to the dry-dock in Rosyth in Scotland and be reunited with her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales.
This is the first time HMS Queen Elizabeth has left Portsmouth since returning from her historic deployment to the USA in December 2018.
Why is HMS Queen Elizabeth sailing to Scotland?
After sailing out of Portsmouth this morning, the Royal Navy aircraft carrier will be returning to the dry-dock in Rosyth, the place she was assembled.
It is on the Firth of Forth in the East of Scotland, not far from Dunfermline.
She is heading back to the dry-dock, where she will effectively be taken out of the water, for routine maintenance work.
Defence minister Stuart Andrew said: ‘After a phenomenal year of trials off the east coast of the US, this dry-docking contract is an important step for HMS Queen Elizabeth as she gears up for operations.
‘The largest ship in our Royal Navy’s history, which was assembled in Rosyth, will now return for this multi-million-pound routine maintenance work as she gets set to represent Britain across the world for decades to come.’
Russell Brown from Defence Equipment and Support added: ‘The teams at Defence Equipment and Support are committed to bringing the national flagships into operational service and this dry docking is a crucial step on that journey.
‘This significant national enterprise is built upon the excellent relationships across defence and the unparalleled skills within UK industry.’
What are HMS Queen Elizabeth’s plans for the rest of 2019?
The aircraft carrier last left Portsmouth in August for flight tests in the USA and returned in December 2018.
She will be returning to America later in the year for Westlant19, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.
HMS Queen Elizabeth will be carrying out operational testing with F-35 jets on the deployment, following on from the developmental tests conducted last year.