HMS Queen Elizabeth gets underway for second round of sea trials

Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth left her home port for the first time on Monday, starting the second round of sea trials.

Leaving her jetty at Her Majesty’s Naval base Portsmouth on October 30, HMS Queen Elizabeth and her crew started five to six weeks of machinery and systems trials off the south coast before returning to Portsmouth.

During the first set of sea trials off the coast of Scotland, the carrier’s crew tested engines and propulsion systems, plus the ship’s ability to produce fresh water, cope with sewage, feed the crew, and supply those on board with electricity.

The ship is set to return to her homeport ahead of her commissioning ceremony which is scheduled for December 7.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is one two 65,000-tonne carriers – the biggest warships ever to be built in Britain. Her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales is set to be handed over to the navy in 2019.

Once they enter service, the two carriers will provide over 4 acres of sovereign territory which can be deployed around the world, travelling at upwards of 500nm a day. Both ships will be capable of carrying up to 36 F-35B Lightning II stealth jets, capable of landing vertically on the flight deck.