Scotland

HMS Queen Elizabeth Visits New £64m Western Scotland Facility For First Time

It is the first time the aircraft carrier has visited western Scotland since she was assembled.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy's flagship, has visited the new Northern Ammunition Jetty as part of final preparations before her first operational deployment.

The Queen Elizabeth-class vessel is the first of the Navy's fleet to visit the new £64m facility in Glen Mallan, Western Scotland – built by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

The aircraft carrier has spent the last two months at sea testing and trialling her latest equipment, before berthing at the facility for a routine onload of operational stores.

DIO project manager Craig MacDonald said: "It is fantastic to have HMS Queen Elizabeth berthed at Glen Mallan for the first time."

He added that the DIO worked to ensure "infrastructure upgrades were completed in time to prepare for the visit".

It is the first time HMS Queen Elizabeth has visited Western Scotland, having become a familiar sight on the River Forth where she was assembled.

Captain Angus Essenhigh, HMS Queen Elizabeth Commanding Officer, said: "We are very proud of the close connection our ship has with Scotland, especially with our affiliated city of Edinburgh.

HMS Queen Elizabeth arrived at the new £64m facility in Western Scotland ahead of her first operational deployment later this year (Picture: Royal Navy).

"HMS Queen Elizabeth embodies the best of British engineering and craftsmanship, including Scottish shipbuilding, and it is a privilege to return to her birthplace of Scotland."

Operated by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) through Defence Munitions, the Northern Ammunition Jetty is designed to support the surface fleet.

It also allows them to continue entering and berthing at Glen Mallan.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the £64m investment reaffirms the Government's "commitment to supporting our core capabilities and defence estate across all corners of the UK".

Police Scotland tweeted that for the duration of HMS Queen Elizabeth's visit to Glen Mallan, no aircraft are "allowed to fly within three nautical miles of the ship and below 6,000 feet within the three nautical mile radius".

They added "drones must not fly within three nautical miles either", including when the ship is travelling to and from the harbour.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to sail for Portsmouth at the end of the month and will deploy to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and East Asia later this year, as part of the UK's Carrier Strike Group.

The Royal Navy tweeted as HMS Queen Elizabeth arrived at Glen Mallan, with aerial drone footage by Police Scotland.

Cover image: HMS Queen Elizabeth arriving at the new £64m Northern Ammunition Jetty in Western Scotland for final preparations before her first operational deployment later this year (Picture: Royal Navy).