Queen To Name New Aircraft Carrier

22 February 2014, 05:41 | Updated: 22 February 2014, 05:58

The Queen will officially name the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier at a ceremony this summer, it was partly built in Portsmouth.

HMS Queen Elizabeth will be based in the city, she'll be christened in Rosyth dockyard in Scotland on July the 4th which will mark the completion of the 65,000 tonne ship which will be Britain’s biggest ever carrier.

During the ceremony, the ship will be given a traditional champagne christening and later that month the dock will be flooded to allow HMS Queen Elizabeth to float for the first time.

The construction of the most complex warship ever built in the UK has sustained more than 7,000 jobs at more than 100 companies across the country. The end of the build phase means the ship can now work towards beginning sea trials in 2017 and flight trials with Lightning II aircraft in 2018.  

Members of the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s crew, and industry workers who have helped to build the ship will be among the thousands of people expected at the event on the shores of the Firth of Forth.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: “This will be a proud and historic day, not just for the Royal Navy but for the entire nation. It is great news that Her Majesty will officially name the first aircraft carrier “HMS Queen Elizabeth”. This occasion will mark a major milestone in regenerating the UK’s aircraft carrier fleet and its power projection capability, with the first Lightning II aircraft due to begin flight trials off the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2018.”

Admiral Sir George Zambellas, First Sea Lord, said: “The Royal Navy is delighted that Her Majesty will name this great ship – the first of a class that will return fast jet carrier operations to our nation’s war fighting credibility.  We have a great journey ahead, in close partnership with the Royal Air Force, to create and sustain the best that our shipbuilding, engineering, technology and people can deliver.  And we are proud to have the chance to show what we can do.”

Work is already underway on the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s sister ship the Prince of Wales which will start to be assembled in Rosyth dockyard later this year.