New UK carrier enters Royal Navy fleet
Queen Elizabeth has commissioned her namesake aircraft carrier into the Royal Navy in a ceremony at Portsmouth naval base.
In a ceremony attended by Queen Elizabeth, the traditional White Ensign was hoisted on the UK's new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, on 7th December, symbolising the commissioning of the nation’s future flagship into the Royal Navy’s fleet.
The ship recently completed the second phase of sea trials off the south coast of England. The sea trials programme was designed in two main phases. The first period at sea tested the power and propulsion systems and putting the 65,000t vessel through her paces, demonstrating platform stability and manoeuvrability.
The second phase was devoted to the ship's sensors, including radar and communications systems. Additional propulsion trials and air flow pattern tests were also scheduled.
Completing final build activity and preparing for helicopter trials next year, HMS Queen Elizabeth will head to the United States to embark her first F-35Bs and perform initial flight trials off the coast in autumn 2018.
The second carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, was formally named in September and is structurally complete.