Queen commissions British Royal Navy's largest ship

By James LaPorta  |  Dec. 7, 2017 at 5:08 PM
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Dec. 7 (UPI) -- England's Queen commissioned the Royal Navy's largest ship ever to into the fleet, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Britain's new aircraft carrier.

In a ceremony Thursday at Her Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth, Royal Navy Capt. Jerry Kyd, read the commissioning warrant.

"Today marks the start of a hugely significant chapter for the Royal Navy, and indeed the nation, as the future flagship is commissioned into Her Majesty's fleet," British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said.

"It is an honor to witness the crowning moment of an extraordinarily busy year for the Royal Navy that has seen us name the second carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, cut steel on the first Type 26 frigates and launch the National Shipbuilding Strategy."

The HMS Queen Elizabeth completed the second stage of sea trials off the south coast of England earlier this year, the British Ministry of Defense said in a press release, and has returned to home port.

In 2018, the new aircraft carrier will undergo its final build activity and prepare for helicopter trials in the U.S. British officials say there are currently 150 Royal Navy and Air Force personnel training is the U.S. on 13 U.K. owned F-35 Lightning II fighter jets.

"The Queen Elizabeth-class carriers will sit at the heart of a modernized and emboldened Royal Navy, capable of projecting power and influence at sea, in the air, over the land and in cyberspace, and offering our nation military and political choice in an uncertain world," said Admiral Sir Philip Jones, first sea lord and chief of naval staff.

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