Nation's flagship takes to the sea for
the 1st time
HISTORY was made as HMS Queen
Elizabeth, the 1st QE Class Aircraft Carrier, set sail from Rosyth to commence
1st stage sea trials off the North East of Scotland. It is hoped
that this new Aircraft Carrier will visit Liverpool sometime next year (2018).
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:- "This is a historic moment for
the UK as our new aircraft carrier takes to sea for the very 1st time. This
floating fortress is by far the most powerful ship ever built in Britain that
will enable us to tackle multiple and changing threats across the globe. HMS
Queen Elizabeth is an enduring example of British imagination, ingenuity,
invention that will help keep us safe for decades to come. She is built by the
best, crewed by the best and will deliver for Britain. For the next 50
years she will deploy around the world, demonstrating British power and our
commitment to confronting the emerging challenges from a dangerous world. The
whole country can be proud of this national achievement. "
Three years after she was officially named by Her Majesty The Queen, the
Nation's future flagship will spend an initial period of around 6 weeks at sea
to test the fundamentals of the ship. The sea trials will monitor speed,
manoeuvrability, power and propulsion as well as undertaking weapons trials and
additional tests on her levels of readiness.
Following this initial period, HMS Queen Elizabeth will return to Rosyth for
further testing and maintenance before heading back to sea for a 2nd stage
which aims to test her Mission Systems. She will transit to her home port of
Portsmouth Naval Base to be handed over to the Royal Navy.
Admiral Sir Philip Jones First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff said:-
"This is a hugely significant moment for the Royal Navy, for all our Armed
Forces and for our island nation. Once in service HMS Queen Elizabeth will be
the largest aircraft carrier in the world outside the United States, and the 1st
designed from the outset to operate a 5th generation aircraft. Already
this ship represents the best of the UK's industrial and engineering expertise,
and once in service she will symbolise our military power and authority in the
world for decades to come. There is still much work to do between now and then,
but be in no doubt: a new era of British maritime power is about to begin."
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest and most powerful warship ever constructed
for the Royal Navy. The ship will operate with a crew of approximately 700,
increasing to the full complement of 1,600 when aircraft are in operation.
Ship's Company moved on board earlier this month. Working alongside industry
colleagues, they have been familiarising themselves with the new ship and the
high tech systems on board as well as undergoing training.
Jon Pearson, Ship Delivery Director HMS Queen Elizabeth said:- "The QE
Class programme demonstrates our pride and commitment to deliver these highly
capable aircraft carriers to the Royal Navy.
The departure of HMS Queen Elizabeth marks an exciting stage in the programme
and is the 1st real opportunity to put the carrier's outstanding capability to
the test, demonstrating the best of British engineering and manufacturing.
HMS Queen Elizabeth's sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales is structurally complete
and is currently in the outfitting phase of her programme. The Class will be the
Centrepiece of Britain's maritime capability. Each aircraft carrier, coupled
with the F35B Lightning aircraft, will form an integral part of the UK's
Carrier Strike capability.
The vessels will transform the UK's ability to
project power around the World, whether independently or working closely with
our allies, on operations ranging from high intensity war fighting to providing
humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
Sadly at this point in time many questions
remain about the American built,
Lockheed Martin F-35B
Lightning aircraft, as the program as has been
plagued with issues.
Britain's is the only tier 1 partner within the international project to build
the aircraft, with the main contractor is US defence giant Lockheed Martin. BAE
Systems make about 15% of each airframe. Rolls Royce makes the lift fan for
F35B, and many other British companies make sub systems for the fighter
Its hoped that the F35s will become a core part of Britain's defence
capabilities after entering service with the RAF and the Royal Navy, sometime in
2018. It has been reported 140 of the jets will be purchased for UK Armed