HMS Queen Elizabeth Takes To The Seas

The Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier has safely made it under the Firth of Forth bridges after leaving dock at Rosyth yesterday.

HMS Queen Elizabeth had to wait for the low tide at midnight in order to gain enough clearance.

The largest and most powerful ship ever built for the Royal Navy will perform sea trials in the North Sea over the summer.

HMS Queen Elizabeth has taken more than eight years to build and is set to be the Navy's future flagship.

The 280-metre, 65,000-tonne vessel is the first of two new carriers being built since HMS Ark Royal was scrapped in 2010.

HMS Queen Elizabeth at Forth Bridge

Eleven tugs helped manoeuvre HMS Elizabeth out of the naval dock and squeeze her through the narrow entrance into the estuary.

The carrier can then start her engines but will need to wait for the low tide to pass under the Firth's famous bridges.

The Queen officially names HMS Queen Elizabeth

Flying trials with helicopters and the F-35B Lightning II will start in 2018.  

The Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force have already been undertaking 'at sea testing' with F-35B's on board the USS Wasp.  

HMS Queen Elizabeth will have operational Carrier Strike Capability in 2020.

F-35B Lightning Fighters Land On USS Wasp

On Facebook The Royal Navy released this animation showing how HMS Queen Elizabeth will depart Rosyth with only 40cm to spare on either side:

HMS Queen Elizabeth on water

During her estimated 50-year working life, HMS Queen Elizabeth could be pressed into action for various work such as high-intensity war fighting or providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief anywhere in the world.

A second carrier, the Prince of Wales, is expected to enter service in 2019.

More: Internet Goes Bonkers As HMS Queen Elizabeth Sails Into Portsmouth

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