Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is afloat again after completing its first docking and maintenance period at Babcock’s Rosyth site.
After the planned six-week work package was successfully delivered, the aircraft carrier departed Rosyth through the specially designed roller-fender system at high tide into the River Forth.
The carrier will now embark on a final round of trials before joining the fleet sometime in 2020. Westlant 19, as this round of trials is named, will include operational testing with UK F-35B Lightning II fighter jets, following on from last’s year’s developmental tests with US trials jets.
A 100-strong team undertook the docking period, which included replacing 284 hull valves and renewing all cathodic protection electrodes and anodes, as well as painting the hull and carrying out work on the stabilisers, rudders and shaft lines.
The docking period was a mandatory requirement and its successful completion means HMS Queen Elizabeth should not need to dock down again for another six years.