The Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has set sail after undergoing routine maintenance.
The 65,000-tonne warship has spent the last six weeks in dry dock at Rosyth, Scotland, where it was originally built, to undergo a hull inspection and routine maintenance.
The completion of the check-up comes as it was revealed the ship’s commanding officer, Commodore Nick Cooke-Priest, was being reassigned after he had used a Royal Naval car for personal journeys.
A navy spokesman said: “The 65,000-tonne future fleet flagship has spent the last six weeks back in the cavernous dock in Rosyth where she was first pieced together as engineers inspected her hull and conducted routine maintenance.
“During her time out of the water, 284 hull valves were changed, both rudder blades were removed and cleaned, her sea inlet pipes were inspected, all sacrificial anodes were replaced, and a renewed coat of anti-foul paint was applied to the ship’s bottom.
“The huge port and starboard anchors and cables were also laid out along the length of dock to allow them to be inspected.
“The docking period was a mandatory requirement and its successful completion means HMS Queen Elizabeth should not need to dock down again for another six years.”
Commander Mark Hamilton, head of marine engineering onboard, said: “It’s the first time that such a short docking period has taken place with a Royal Navy ship of this size.
“It’s real testament to the great working relationship forged between the MoD and industry to make this such a success.
“We’ll now carry the concept forwards to future docking periods, as well as to those of our sister ship HMS Prince of Wales.”
After sailing into the Firth of Forth, the carrier will conduct a period sea trials and training before a planned deployment to the east coast of the United States later in the year.