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HMS Queen Elizabeth makes successful transition to water

Britain’s newest aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has successfully floated out of the dock in which she was assembled.

To get her moving, the dry dock in Rosyth near Edinburgh was flooded for the first time to allow the 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier to float. It then took three hours to manoeuvre the vessel out of the dock - with two metres clearance at either side - and berth her alongside a nearby jetty.

Engineers and technicians will now continue to outfit the ship in preparation for sea trials in 2016.

The dock she vacates will be used for final assembly of her sister ship, HMS Prince Of Wales, which will begin in September.


Source: BAE Systems

Britain’s newest aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has successfully floated out of the dock in which she was assembled

Readers' comments (21)

  • When I first read this, I did not spot the S after the HM and believed our Queen was giving-up horses in favour of some other sport.
    Mike B

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  • What a ship, what an acheivement. Fantastic to see her in the water.

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  • We know how to build them.

    So let's build a 3rd, this time though designed for practicality and military doctrine rather than EU compliance.

    Give it a catapult for flexibility and a nuclear reactor so we don't need a train of supply ships we don't have.

    Afterall, three is a magic number.

    In fact, we could probably just keep building them, I'm sure we'd be able to sustain jobs and capability and do it slowly enough we'd find buyers for them.

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  • Quick, get some stores on board & then a dash through the Med. Up the Dardanelles & I am sure that nice Mr Putin won't mind if we tie-up at a Crimean port. Then we'll show those Ukrainian separatists just what good old British air power can do. Hang on a minute though, we seem to have forgotten something... Maybe we could ask people not to start anything until we are ready, in about 6 years if all goes well. Or we could lend this non-carrier to the Russians as they are the only nation to have suitable aircraft to use it.

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  • Great to see the ship launch, Hope the PoW works as well. problem is still the Lightning II though. Are we now at a position where the Govt ought to be talking to BAe about what can be engineered either from existing Aircraft or Aircraft designs or a new fixed wing aircraftto populate the ship, surely at worst we could resurrect the Harrier and reengineer the Avionics and Engines in the light of the improvements made in the last 50 years. Or what about investigating other launch and recovery systems, No room for a steam catapult sure, what about a powered sled? Chemical or electromagnetic. at the moment it looks like we are going to end up with two Helicopeter carriers because there is no plan B at all

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  • following the proposal that 'the Government' [Q, which part?, certainly not that nice Mr Cameron who would not know one end of a steam driven catapult or a vertical thrust jet from a gerund or an irregular Latin verb] should be talking to BAe...unless I am mistaken, not a single one of the major pieces of military equipment which (eventually) saw us the winners? in WWII were proposed by the 'system': all were privately funded and initiated by civilian firms. What a good job they had rather more foresight than those whose business, position (and apparent skill) should have given them the edge.

    Apropos BAe: its former CEO (Mrs T's favourite capitalist) I used, as his platoon sergeant and Head-of-House to make double on the spot with his rifle above his head for having dirty 'brasses' and an un-blanco's belt on Corps parade when he was 15 and I was 18! Perhaps I am actually responsible for the former success of that firm.
    Mike B

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  • Another isolated and non-integrated success. Who needed a steam catapult when we had the Harrier. Was this an exchange for an F35?

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  • Hang on, hang on.....

    We are missing a trick here:

    Air superiority only works when you have something in the air or am I missing something.....

    Couple of beauties here going cheap.

    Why not have an eclectic mix of airframes that will really keep our adversaries guessing...

    (Tongue firmly planted in cheek).

    But what was wrong with the Harrier and I am led to believe it's 95% service availability....

    It might be old tech, but when the floods and snow comes what do you suddenly see, not BMW's or Prius ... Ancient Land Rovers, why?

    Coz they are simple and don't need a computer and are good at the basics.

    Most air based conflict now is surely against land based targets - sadly there is any at all.

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  • I remain astonished by people's demand that this ship is ready yesterday and the F35 is no good.

    HMS Queen Elizabeth is going to be ready in 4 years. 2 years completion, 2 years working up and training her crew. F35 is slated to be IOC in 2018, conveniently just as QNLZ is ready as a ship. F35 is well on track now, and all the instant gratification naysayers who want it ready now need to develop an understanding that developing an aircraft is not a 10 minute job. Development is the key word with F35, and a lack of understanding of the concept seems to emanate from the press, which seeks nothing more than sensational headlines.

    Put simply, one cannot simply build a carrier, throw a few aircraft on her and say, "we have an aircraft carrier." The Chinese have tried. They can launch aircraft, but cannot operate in any mode other than training.

    60-70% of the world's population lives within 300 miles of the sea. All the world's recent troubles have been within range of carrier based air power, so to suggest that they are irrelevant because all war is fought on land demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the point of carrier enabled power projection. It also fails to recognise that in excess of 90% of the UK's trade is carried on ships. Not to have the ability to defend that link with the outside world because of some frankly naive notion of swords into ploughshares is a ludicrous suggestion. We desperately need these carriers, and for me they cannot be ready soon enough. Sadly, the economic downturn - the worst since the great depression of the early 20th century - clearly stalled a lot of things, and blithely splurging money all over the place when we couldn't afford it would have been madness. Sadly it did slow the pace of construction, but there is now light at the end of the tunnel.

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  • Seeing the launching of the HMS Queen Elizabeth made me wonder if the ship was built to fit the dock yard space

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