HMS Queen Elizabeth homecoming
Navy

HMS Queen Elizabeth Waved Off As It Sails For Sea Trials

Five intense weeks are ahead for the aircraft carrier.

HMS Queen Elizabeth homecoming

Well-wishers have waved off the Royal Navy's aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth as it set sail for sea trials.

The carrier left her home at Portsmouth Naval Base to embark on five weeks of sea trials and training before she sails again to the US later this summer.

"It's an amazing sight, you feel completely overwhelmed from the water as she sails past," said the local resident and swimmer Dale Marie.

During the transatlantic trip, it will stop at a port in the Washington area to host the Atlantic Future Forum, which aims to bring US and UK industry and military together to address the changing nature of warfare and shared threats.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said it was a testament to the "enduring transatlantic defence relationship" that the ship will have visited the US twice.

During the US trip, known as Westlant 19, HMS Queen Elizabeth and her crew will conduct deck and warfare trials with F-35 jets, as well as rotary wing training with Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.

The aircraft carrier will make a number of port calls while deployed, before returning to the UK ahead of Christmas.

Last May, HMS Queen Elizabeth returned to Portsmouth after the Commanding Officer, Commodore Nick-Cooke-Priest, was removed from his post for using an official vehicle for personal journeys.