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HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Gibraltar for first overseas visit.

| 2018

The Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth arrived in Gibraltar today for her first overseas port visit. The 65,000-tonne future flagship will be conducting a routine logistics stop having left her home in Portsmouth last week for helicopter trials. These helicopter trials take place before the fixed wing F35 Lightning II trials later this year.

HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Gibraltar for first overseas visit HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Gibraltar for first overseas visit. Royal Navy picture.

Captain Jerry Kyd, the Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, said: "It is a great privilege for me to be bringing our new aircraft carrier into Gibraltar for her first ever overseas port visit. Gibraltar is the perfect stop for HMS Queen Elizabeth as we conduct our flying trials in the waters off the Iberian Peninsula. And our visit also underlines the incredibly rich history and special relationship the Royal Navy and Royal Marines share with Gibraltar".

The carrier reached a major milestone last week when a Naval Air Squadron embarked in the ship for the first time, marking another first in the regeneration of the Royal Navy's carrier strike capability. Merlin Mk2 helicopters of Culdrose-based 820 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) have been working with the ship since she sailed from Rosyth for the first time in June last year.

On leaving Gibraltar HMS Queen Elizabeth will return to sea to conduct helicopter trials with specially equipped Merlin and Chinook aircraft from the Aircraft Test and Evaluation Centre at MOD Boscombe Down. The data collected will be analysed to work out their operating parameters at sea, ahead of fixed wing flying trials with the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter off the east coast of the United States in the summer.

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