HMS Queen Elizabeth arriving into Loch Long on Monday (Picture: Royal Navy).
Navy

HMS Queen Elizabeth in second visit to Firth of Clyde

The UK's flagship left Portsmouth earlier this month.

HMS Queen Elizabeth arriving into Loch Long on Monday (Picture: Royal Navy).

The Firth of Clyde was witness to the impressive sight of the nation's flagship on Monday as the Royal Navy's aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth visited for only the second time since her launch eight years ago.

The 65,000-tonne carrier last visited the Clyde 12 months ago when she sailed to Loch Long to be loaded with ammunition before deploying with the Carrier Strike Group.

She returned on Monday, berthing at Glen Mallan ammunition jetty, which completed a £67m upgrade to accommodate the Royal Navy's Queen Elizabeth carriers last year.

Captain Ian Feasey, Captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth, said: "It is fantastic for the fleet flagship to be back in this spectacular region to make use of this upgraded facility supporting our role as the United Kingdom's strike carrier.

"The ship's drumbeat of visits here over the coming years will punctuate the strong affiliation that we have with Scotland."

Construction of HMS Queen Elizabeth began in 2009 with six shipyards around the UK involved in building different sections of the ship, which were then transported to Rosyth dockyard where they were assembled.

The Queen officially named the carrier in July 2014, with the vessel leaving dry dock a few days later.

Watch: HMS Queen Elizabeth sets sail from Portsmouth.

The joint largest vessel ever constructed for the Royal Navy, HMS Queen Elizabeth was at the centre of the Carrier Strike Group deployment in 2021 (CSG21).

Along with eight other ships, a submarine, five air squadrons and 3,700 members of the Armed Forces, CSG21 visited more than 40 countries.  

After returning to sea as the UK's Very High Readiness Strike Carrier earlier this month, HMS Queen Elizabeth's visit to the Clyde is part of a routine logistics visit.

The ship used the transit from Portsmouth to test newly refurbished equipment and will continue to do so during her follow-on programme, as well as allowing her crew to continue team training activities.

Watch: HMS Queen Elizabeth's Carrier Strike Group – mission accomplished.

Onboard the carrier, Leading Engineering Technician Cook, who is on the Accelerated Apprenticeship Scheme, said: "The ship has brilliant facilities and is so modern; it's a great place to put theory into practice.

"While we are alongside at Glen Mallan this gives us a great opportunity to get into the hills for some hiking and maybe even arrange a visit to Glen Coe."

Following HMS Queen Elizabeth's departure from the Clyde, it is hoped she will visit Liverpool on her return journey to Portsmouth.