The British Royal Navy’s future flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth has successfully completed its 70-day training and returned to Portsmouth.
Training around the country has prepared the vessel for front-line duties.
HMS Queen Elizabeth’s ability to ‘lead a potent carrier strike force’ will be confirmed once it completes the last set of training alongside Nato and US allies this autumn.
UK Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said: “HMS Queen Elizabeth is an extraordinary ship crewed by extraordinary people from both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.
“They deployed at the height of the Covid-19 outbreak and have remained at sea for over 10 weeks so that they could complete their operational training with the minimal risk of infection.
“They’ve put their duty to our country ahead of spending time with their families during the pandemic and in the process, they’ve taken us a step closer to, once again, having a carrier strike capability with the capacity to project British influence across the globe.”
In the south coast, the carrier received a dedicated training package for all 1,100 personnel aboard. The training package included 18 fictional fires and flood incidents.
HMS Queen Elizabeth also worked with UK F-35 Lightnings from 617 Squadron, known as ‘The Dambusters’. It completed a record number of landings on the flight deck.
Pilots from 617 squadron, based at RAF Marham, were trained to land and take flights from the vessel during day and night.