The biggest warship ever built for the Royal Navy, HMS Queen Elizabeth, set sail for the first time yesterday (26 June). Watch it being manoeuvred out of Rosyth dockyard
HMS Queen Elizabeth has set sail from the Rosyth dockyard in Fife.
The new aircraft carrier is the biggest warship ever built for the Royal Navy.
At 280-metres, it is longer than the Houses of Parliament (265-metres).
It is one of two Queen Elizabeth class carriers being constructed, at a cost of more than £6 billion.
Both the HMS Queen Elizabeth and the HMS Prince of Wales are expected to last 50 years.
The 65,000-tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth set out from Rosyth on the Firth of Forth, helped initially by 11 tugs.
Once out of the dockyard entrance, it waited for low tide to get underneath the Forth bridges before the carrier headed to the North Sea for trials.
The ship is the first aircraft carrier since the Royal Navy got rid of HMS Ark Royal in 2010.
A crew of 1,000 will operate HMS Queen Elizabeth, which can house up to 40 aircraft.
Merlin helicopters of 820 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) – known as the Flying Fish – will be on long standing duty on board, protecting the leviathan from any submarine which might threaten the vessel.
The Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a coalition of the Ministry of Defence, Royal Navy and industry, is building HMS Queen Elizabeth and its sister ship, Prince of Wales.
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It will be several years before the aircraft carrier will be fully operational.
Both of the new aircraft carriers will be based at Portsmouth, and the Ministry of Defence has already spent £100 million to ready the port for their arrival.
New navigational lights have been installed as part of the infrastructure work.
The entrance to Portsmouth Harbour has also been extensively dredged, resulting in the discovery of a number of unexploded German World War Two bombs.