Britain’s biggest ever warship HMS Queen Elizabeth took to the water for the first time yesterday as she was moved out of dry dock.
With just two metres to spare at either side of the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier, a flotilla of tugs inched the ship from the dock where she was constructed at Rosyth, near Edinburgh, to a neighbouring jetty where she’ll be completed over the next two years.
After a two-day operation to flood the cavernous dry dock, tugs began the delicate task of moving the leviathan in her entirety for the first time at dawn yesterday.
It took just three hours to complete the ‘float out’ – an operation which took place 13 days after Her Majesty the Queen officially named the vessel in a spectacular ceremony.
Teams will now continue to outfit the ship and bring her systems to life 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.
Both ships are being built by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a unique partnership between the Ministry of Defence, BAE Systems, Babcock and Thales.