The Queen underway

Here we see the view from the bridge of the Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland (F81) as she trails HMS Queen Elizabeth off Rosyth at a stately 16 knots.

Here is a wider shot.

HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) under escort by frigates HMS Iron Duke (F234) & HMS Sutherland (F81)

And below is night time footage of the big carrier as she passes under the Forth rail bridge on her maiden voyage. At one point she reportedly only had about 40cm of room on each side during her exit from the builder’s ways.

HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are the biggest warships ever built for the Royal Navy – four acres of sovereign territory, deployable across the globe to serve the United Kingdom on operations for 50 years. They will be the most advanced warships in the Royal Navy fleet.

As noted by Defense Industry Daily: “Queen Elizabeth has began sea trials after leaving BAE’s shipyard in Scotland on Monday. During the next six weeks her crew will test the vessel’s speed, maneuverability, power and propulsion, and weaponry before returning to its shipyard Rosyth for further testing and maintenance and then return to sea to test mission systems. She will later transfer to Portsmouth Naval Base to be handed over to the Royal Navy later this year.”

You can track her here via AIS

Her first F-35Bs, however, may not be ready until 2018 and she is not expected to be deployable with an all-Fleet Air Arm wing of them until 2023, using loaned USMC squadrons until then.

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