New aircraft carrier to be named by the Queen
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Her Majesty The Queen will officially name the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth at a ceremony in Scotland this summer.
The naming ceremony at Rosyth dockyard in Fife on Friday 4 July 2014 will mark the completion of the 65,000-tonne ship which will be Britain’s biggest ever carrier.
During the ceremony, the ship will be given a traditional champagne christening and later that month the dock will be flooded to allow HMS Queen Elizabeth to float for the first time.
The construction of the most complex warship ever built in the UK has sustained more than 7,000 jobs at more than 100 companies across the country.
The end of the build phase means the ship can now work towards beginning sea trials in 2017 and flight trials with Lightning II aircraft in 2018.
Members of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s crew, and industry workers who have helped to build the ship, will be among the thousands of people expected at the event on the shores of the Firth of Forth.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:
This will be a proud and historic day, not just for the Royal Navy but for the entire nation. It is great news that Her Majesty will officially name the first aircraft carrier ‘HMS Queen Elizabeth’.
This occasion will mark a major milestone in regenerating the UK’s aircraft carrier fleet and its power projection capability, with the first Lightning II aircraft due to begin flight trials off the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2018.
Admiral Sir George Zambellas, the First Sea Lord, said:
The Royal Navy is delighted that Her Majesty will name this great ship – the first of a class that will return fast jet carrier operations to our nation’s war-fighting credibility.
We have a great journey ahead, in close partnership with the Royal Air Force, to create and sustain the best that our shipbuilding, engineering, technology and people can deliver. And we are proud to have the chance to show what we can do.
Work is already underway on HMS Queen Elizabeth’s sister ship the Prince of Wales which will start to be assembled in Rosyth dockyard later this year.