Navy

HMS Queen Elizabeth To Begin Sea Trials After At-Sea Quarantine

The 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier left Portsmouth Naval Base at the end of April and spent time anchored off the UK coast.

Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is to begin sea trials following a period of quarantine at sea.

The 65,000-tonne warship left Portsmouth Naval Base at the end of April and spent time anchored off the UK coast.

The £3 billion vessel stopped in Stokes Bay, off Gosport, last week while it made final preparations and took on Flag Officer Sea Training (Fost) staff ahead of the deployment.

The ship set sail from the Solent on Friday morning.

The carrier's departure from her homeport was delayed while her 800-strong crew were tested for COVID-19.

Two members of the ship’s company tested positive and were removed before she set sail on 29 April. 

It is understood that all personnel involved in flight tests with the F-35B Lightning jets on board the ship will be required to have completed a 14-day period of self-isolation.

A Royal Navy spokesman said: “She will undergo several weeks of training and assessment with the staff of Fost to ensure the UK can deliver on its commitment to have a Carrier Strike Group ready to deploy from the end of this year.”

Cover image: MOD library photo.