The Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan DCVO JP, has visited the Royal Navy’s brand new aircraft carrier.
Currently under construction at Rosyth Dockyard, in Scotland, once HMS Queen Elizabeth is operational she will be based at Portsmouth Naval Base, in Hampshire, where Dame Mary is Her Majesty’s representative.
On her visit Dame Mary was given a brief on the ships capabilities as well taken on a tour by Commander Andrew Blackburn, the ships Air Engineer Officer.
At 65,000 tonnes the Queen Elizabeth Class will be the largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy and, with her embarked squadrons of F35B Lightning II jets, will put the UK back into the premier league of maritime fixed wing aviation.
The ships will also be able to operate the full range of UK helicopters, providing enormous versatility.
During her visit Dame Mary said:
“I was staggered by the size of the new HMS Queen Elizabeth – she is the most exciting ship I have ever visited.
“I was also struck by the sense of pride and commitment shown by the ship’s company, and the workforce who are building her. I am very much looking forward to visiting her again.”
HMS Queen Elizabeth will be formally named by Her Majesty the Queen in July.
Following a period of system commissioning and sea trials, she will sail to her new home in Portsmouth in early 2017.
Press Release, April 2, 2014; Image: Royal Navy