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Royal Navy aircraft carrier returns to base after successful sea training

Ben Mitchell

By Ben Mitchell, PA

Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has returned to base to pick up supplies having successfully completed its basic sea training.

The 65,000 tonne warship arrived at Portsmouth Naval Base having completed the first part of a series of sea trials.

The £3 billion carrier is expected to leave soon to carry out flight trials with the high-tech F35 Lightning jets.

The carrier’s departure for the first set of training from Portsmouth was delayed while its 700-strong crew were all tested for Covid-19.

Two members of the ship’s company tested positive and were removed and the ship was allowed to sail on April 29.

Ahead of its return, the ship posted on Twitter: “Flash: Basic Sea Training has concluded successfully.

“Tomorrow we will proceed alongside to take on the stores necessary to fly; and almost definitely, to catch up on some sleep.

“Next week though……. Ooft, can’t wait!”

It also posted: “We conducted our first assessed night replenishment at sea with our old friend.

“Whilst others sleep, we replenish fuel in the deep.”

And it posted: “Our operations room has been tested over the last period with multiple incoming air, surface and sub-surface threats.

“Making use of our Merlin helos, a Type23 Frigate and our own CIWS, we successfully defeated all threats.”

Ahead of the training period, a Royal Navy spokesman said: “She will undergo several weeks of training and assessment with the staff of Fost (Flag Officer Sea Training) to ensure the UK can deliver on its commitment to have a Carrier Strike Group ready to deploy from the end of this year.”