PHOTOS: Britain’s new £3 billion aircraft carrier arrives at her home port for the first time

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HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives at Portsmouth.
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Peter Nicholls/Reuters

HMS Queen Elizabeth is home.

Britain’s new aircraft carrier arrived at Portsmouth Naval Base, its new home port, for the first time on Wednesday morning.

The ship’s crew lined the deck, and spectators waited at the port, as the megaship arrived around 7.10 a.m.

The vessel will be based there for its estimated 50-year lifespan, the Associated Press reported.

The carrier’s official Twitter account also tweeted photos of the event under the hashtag #CarrierHome. Take a look at the arrival in the photos and video below.


HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed into Portsmouth on Wednesday morning.


At 65,000 tonnes, Britain’s new aircraft carrier is longer than the Houses of Parliament and taller than the Niagara Falls.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth/Twitter

It cost the Royal Navy over £3 billion ($3.87 billion) and took eight years to build.


Here’s a video of the Queen Elizabeth cruising down the Solent.


Sailors lined the decks as the ship arrived.

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Crew members line the Queen Elizabeth’s decks as the ship sails into the port.
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Peter Nicholls/Reuters

During sea trials this summer, the Queen Elizabeth has been home to 900 people – 700 Royal Navy members and 200 industry personnel.

All of the crew members share the ship’s facilities, such as the canteen and gym.


She was accompanied by Royal Navy helicopters.

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Peter Nicholls/Reuters

A squadron of Merlin helicopters from the Royal Navy Air Station performed a flypast as the vessel arrived.


Tugboats manoeuvred the ship into place at Portsmouth Harbour.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth/Twitter

The ship’s maiden voyage this summer saw her meet up with the USS George H.W. Bush while the American warship trained with other Royal Navy members and other NATO countries off the Scottish coast.


Workers dredged 3.2 million cubic meters of silt from the harbour so the carrier could fit.

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The Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth, Britain August 16, 2017. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
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Peter Nicholls/Reuters

The equivalent to 1,280 Olympic swimming pools of material was removed to deepen and widen the channel for the ship’s berth at the Princess Royal Jetty, according to the Royal Navy.

During this process, workers found eight cannons, an aircraft engine, and even a human skull, the BBC said.


The Queen Elizabeth has just returned from two months of sea trials.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth/Twitter

The ship’s maiden voyage this summer on the North Sea saw her meet up with the USS George H.W. Bush among other British and NATO vessels.


They were successful — but it hasn’t all been plain sailing for the ship.

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Police officers stand guard in an inflatable boat as the carrier sails into Portsmouth.
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Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Journalists touring the ship in June noticed computer monitors running on Windows XP. The Ministry of Defence, however, insisted that it had “absolute confidence” in the carrier’s cybersecurity.

And earlier this week an amateur drone pilot announced that he had landed on her deck unnoticed. Police are investigating the incident, and the MoD said it had “stepped up our security measures.”


It has been criticised for the number and type of planes on board (currently none).

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Peter Nicholls/Reuters

At full strength, the ship can carry 40 fighter jets and helicopters. But right now it has none.

The Royal Navy expects to have 14 fighter jets by the end of the year and start trial flights off the United States east coast in October 2018.

In a letter to The Telegraph in July, retired Royal Air Force leaders warned that the ship would “go straight to the bottom of the sea as soon as hostilities break out” from a submarine attack if it doesn’t buy more sub-hunter aircraft to protect it.


Here’s a closer shot taken from the deck on its big day.

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HMS Queen Elizabeth/Twitter