HMS Queen Elizabeth crew moves on board

Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is one step closer to departing Rosyth after the ship’s company took up residence on board the UK’s future flagship.

Over the last couple of months, the 700-strong ship’s company has been navigating their way around the 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier familiarising themselves with the new and high tech systems on board, undergoing training and eating meals prepared in the galley.

Living on board marks an important step in the process of bringing to life the Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier.

Commanding Officer, Captain Jerry Kyd Royal Navy, said: “The effort from our industry colleagues, Ministry of Defence and Naval personnel to get us to this point has been immense. It has been a massive team effort and I am proud of every individual contribution.”

Sub Lieutenant Reece Statham-Quilty, Weapons Engineer, said: “It is fantastic to be part of such a large project, and working within the team driving it forward. Living on board is a significant milestone for both the programme and the Ship’s Company. We can really see the ship come to life.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth is in advanced stages of her test and commissioning phase and will undertake her maiden sea trials programme in the summer.

The months leading up to this milestone have involved a range of critical tests to prove the various systems on board, including – successful testing of radars and ship communication and combat systems to calibrate the ship’s long range radar and its ‘Identify Friend or Foe’ sensors and a live test involving a Royal Navy Hawk aircraft.

The power and propulsion system which is all the equipment that ultimately drives the ship were also tested. This includes some of the largest and most powerful components used on the ships such as the diesel generators, gas turbine engines, propellers and the ship’s stabilisers. The trials also allowed the ship’s company the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the operation of the power and propulsion systems and get hands on training on the systems they will operate.