Wednesday, 16 August 2017

UK's new £3bn warship HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth



Britain's biggest-ever warship has arrived at its base in Portsmouth for the first time.

Hundreds of people lined Portsmouth Harbour to welcome HMS Queen Elizabeth, an aircraft carrier which cost more than £3bn to build.


The 280m (918ft) vessel set sail in June from the Rosyth dockyard where it was built, and since then has been undergoing tests at sea.


Technically, it remains a civilian rather than a military ship until it is commissioned later this year.


It is also an aircraft carrier which does not yet have fixed-wing aircraft on board. F-35B Lightning II jets are still being built and tested in the US, and the ship won't be fully operational until 2020.


Theresa May, speaking on board, hailed the ship as a symbol of the UK as a "great global maritime nation".


The PM said: "Britain can be proud of this ship and what it represents.


"It sends a clear signal that as Britain forges a new, positive, confident role on the world stage in the years ahead we are determined to remain a fully engaged global power, working closely with our friends and allies around the world."


"Whether the task be high intensity war-fighting, targeted action to fight terrorism, or humanitarian relief to save lives overseas, these ships will transform the UK's ability to project power around the world," she added.


Those on board and watching from the shore were treated to two separate flypasts of Royal Navy helicopters, the first featuring a Sea King, two Mk2 Merlins and two Mk3 Merlins, which were then joined by two Hawk jets for the second.
 
 
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: "She is Britain's statement to the world: a demonstration of British military power and our commitment to a bigger global role.


"The thousands of people across the UK who have played a part in building her and her sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, should be immensely proud as our future flagship enters Portsmouth."


The behemoth aircraft carrier sailed into the Solent before heading into Portsmouth, where, at its narrowest point, there was less than 20m (66ft) clearance on each side.


The band of the Royal Marines played as the ship slowly navigated into the harbour, which has had to be dredged to make room.





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