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  1. ITV Report

HMS Queen Elizabeth sets sail from Portsmouth for US visit

One year ago the aircraft carrier entered her home port of Portsmouth Photo:
  • Watch the full report by Richard Jones on the preparations below

The Royal Navy's new £3 billion aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has set sail from her home port of Portsmouth for the US where fighter jets will land on its flight deck for the very first time.

It has been eight years since a British aircraft carrier last flew a fast jet from her decks.

The 65 thousand tonne carrier is expected to leave Portsmouth Naval Base at around 18:00 BST.

Fighter jets will land on the carrier's flight deck for the first time in the US

During the carrier's trip it will embark two US F-35B test aircraft, based in Maryland.

They are expected to carry out 500 landings and take-offs during the carrier's 11 weeks at sea.

HMS Queen Elizabeth will also carry out tests in UK waters before heading across the Atlantic.

Interviewees: Capt Jerry Kyd - CO, HMS Queen Elizabeth Cdre Andrew Betton - CO, UK Carrier Strike Group Cmdr James Blackmore - Commander Air, HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizabeth is a true statement of our national power, and the whole country can be proud to see this magnificent symbol of our engineering prowess and international ambition leaving port to sail onto the world stage.

"Her voyage to America not only shows her global reach, but strengthens our special relationship with the US forces who we have worked hand-in-hand with on this iconic programme. As she sails along the east coast of the USA, she will signal our determination to keep fighting alongside our allies in all corners of an ever more complex and uncertain world."

– Gavin Williamson, Defence Secretary
Thousands gathered to watch HMS Queen Elizabeth enter Portsmouth in August 2017