HMS Queen Elizabeth set for maiden call to Gibraltar
The Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is expected to sail into Gibraltar this Friday for a short stay.
Although the Ministry of Defence has not yet announced the visit formally, details of the ship’s arrival were revealed in a Notice to Mariners issued Tuesday by the Captain of the Port in conjunction with the Queen’s Harbour Master.
The aircraft carrier, which left her home port of Portsmouth last Friday for trials at sea, will dock at the deep-water berth alongside the Western Arm next to the cruise terminal.
She is expected to remain in Gibraltar over the weekend to pick up stores and allow some shore leave for personnel, before sailing again on Monday.
The ship will sail into port under heavy escort provided by the Royal navy’s Gibraltar Squadron, the Gibraltar Defence Police and the Royal Gibraltar Police, who will enforce a 500-metre exclusion zone in the Bay of Gibraltar.
While she is docked in Gibraltar, Gibraltar Squadron and GDP vessels will enforce a 150-metre exclusion zone around HMS Queen Elizabeth.
“Any vessel approaching this exclusion zone will be challenged by the security craft,” the Notice to Mariners states.
Yesterday HMS Queen Elizabeth was sailing into the Bay of Biscay and carrying out helicopter trials, with Royal Navy helicopters landing on its four-acre flight deck for the first time.
Built at a cost of £3.1bn, the aircraft carrier was launched last December.
Pics: Ministry of Defence