HMS Queen Elizabeth in the North Sea

From procedural to operational – Carrier Strike Group exercise Crimson Ocean

On the 29th April HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed to conduct Operational Sea Training, this was followed by her first operational exercise. The ship returned to Portsmouth today and we spoke to senior officers about the experience and the future programme.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth at anchor June 2019

HMS Queen Elizabeth prepares to sail despite COVID-19 crisis

(UPDATED) HMS Queen Elizabeth will leave Portsmouth for another period of training next week but it was announced on 23rd April that her departure will be delayed by a few days while the entire ship’s company is tested for COVID-19. At a time when aircraft carriers in other navies have experienced widespread infection amongst their crews, we look at the rationale for sailing and the measures taken by the RN to mitigate risks to its personnel.

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Captain Angus Essenhigh

Commanding the carrier – a brief history of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s captains

In January 2020 the 4th seagoing captain of HMS Queen Elizabeth was appointed. As the ship has only been in commission for just over two years and is not yet operational there was some surprise at the high turnover of commanding officers. Here we provide some background and context to the most high profile job in the navy.

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Double replenishment at sea

Photo essay: HMS Queen Elizabeth – Westlant 19 deployment – Part 4

After the arrival of jets onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth in October, the Operational Test (OT-1) flying programme got into full swing. This photo essay covers the UK Carrier Strike Group during this period which was followed by diplomatic visits to the United States.

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F-35C catches arrestor wire

Cats, traps and claptrap. Why the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers operate VSTOL aircraft

There is a consistently held view that the Royal Navy was mistaken when it chose to adopt Vertical/Short Take-Off and Landing (VSTOL) aircraft carriers. In this long read we look at the convoluted history of the issue and review the arguments both for and against.

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Aircraft Carriers – what are they for?

Right now there is plenty of imagery and media coverage of the Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier project. Discussion is mostly focussed on their size and design, their aircraft, their price and the politics of their construction but often a basic explanation of their function has been lacking. Here we outline the purpose and value of an aircraft carrier.

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Photo essay: First British jets land onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth – Westlant 19 deployment – Part 3

On 13th October the first British-owned jets landed on HMS Queen Elizabeth off the eastern coast of the US. This photo essay covers the arrival of the 4 jets from 17 Squadron and 617 Squadron.

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Photo essay: HMS Queen Elizabeth Westlant 19 deployment – Part 2

After departing Halifax on 16th September, HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Dragon and RFA Tideforce headed south towards the Florida coast and were joined by HMS Northumberland. They exercised off the eastern seaboard of the US before the aircraft carrier arrived at Naval Station Mayport on 4th October.

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