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Queen Elizabeth to formally join fleet

17 November 2017
Queen Elizabeth will formally join the fleet on 7 December. Source: Crown Copyright

The UK Royal Navy’s first Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier is to complete its contractors’ sea trials and formally join the fleet on 7 December.

UK defence secretary Gavin Williamson made the announcement on 16 November during his first visit to the carrier, while it was at sea sailing around the southwest of England.

He said the commission ceremony would be conducted by Queen Elizabeth II in Portsmouth Naval Base after the ship completes its contractors’ trials, run by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance. After the ceremony, the ship will be formally titled HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The ship left Portsmouth on 30 October to begin the second phase of its contractors’ trials, which are focused on proving the performance of its communications, radar, and other sensors. Open-source AIS transponder tracks indicate that the carrier operated around Land’s End and the north coast of Cornwall during the first two weeks of the trials.

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