Britain’s most advanced and biggest warship, the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, berthed for the first time at its home port of Portsmouth overnight.
The 280m vessel entered the harbour on England’s southern coast, greeted by thousands of spectators.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest warship so far built for the Royal Navy, according to the Ministry of Defence.
“Today we welcome our mighty new warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, to her home for the very first time,” Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said. “She is Britain’s statement to the world: A demonstration of British military power and our commitment to a bigger global role.”
The ship is currently undergoing sea trials. It cannot yet deploy planes, but flying trials from its deck are due to begin next year.
It took eight years to build HMS Queen Elizabeth, with construction taking place in six cities and involving 10,000 people.
Along with its sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, it is part of a defence programme worth 6 billion ($10.58 billion).
The aircraft carrier’s commanding officer Captain Jerry Kyd told the BBC the vessel “sends the right signals to our allies and, indeed, potentially to our enemies that we mean business.” Reuters