Defence Secretary visits HMS Queen Elizabeth

The Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has visited the Royal Navy’s future Flagship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, as she engages in sea trials off the coast of Scotland.

Sir Michael landed by Merlin helicopter on the deck of the new aircraft carrier and offered his thanks to members of the crew for their contribution to the security of the UK.

He also took the opportunity while addressing the Ship’s Company, to announce Britain’s second aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, which will be officially named at a ceremony in Rosyth on 8th September 2017.

Sir Michael said: “Our carrier programme is a clear demonstration of British power and commitment to our global standing. With two aircraft carriers we will have one available at all times, providing a world-class carrier strike capability. They offer a prodigious promise to future generations of our determination to continue fronting up to aggression for years to come.

“The magnificent HMS Queen Elizabeth provides us with power on a scale we have never seen before. Protecting us for the next half a century, she will be a highly versatile and potent force, capable of both humanitarian and disaster relief and high-end war fighting.”

The initial period of sea trials is expected to last around six weeks and will test the fundamentals of the ship. The trials will monitor speed, manoeuvrability, power and propulsion, as well as perform weapons trials and additional tests on her levels of readiness.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to enter Portsmouth to be handed over to the Royal Navy later this year.

image © Crown copyright

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