Crowds welcome Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth back home

Ben Mitchell, PA
·1-min read

Hundreds of people have lined the harbour walls to welcome the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth into Portsmouth Naval Base.

The fleet flagship returned home after its first visit to western Scotland during sea trials.

After a period back at the Hampshire base, the £3 billion warship will sail for major exercises off Scotland before heading out on its first operational deployment.

HMS Queen Elizabeth
The HMS Queen Elizabeth returns to Portsmouth Naval Base following sea trials and a visit to western Scotland (Ben Mitchell/PA)

It will head to the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and East Asia later this year, as part of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group.

During the completed trip to Scotland, the carrier docked at the new Northern Ammunition Jetty at Glen Mallan, in Loch Long.

The Queen Elizabeth, which was assembled at Rosyth in Fife, spent the previous two weeks at sea testing and trialling her latest equipment.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the first of the Royal Navy’s fleet to visit the new £64 million facility, built at Glen Mallan by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

HMS Queen Elizabeth
The HMS Queen Elizabeth was assembled at Rosyth in Fife (Ben Mitchell/PA)

The 65,000 tonne carrier is capable of carrying up to 40 aircraft and is primarily used to launch F35 strike aircraft.