...By Larry John for TDPel Media.
The Royal Navy’s largest and most powerful warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, has been spotted off the coast of Wales this week.
Currently engaged in trials and drills in the Irish Sea, the £3.1bn aircraft carrier is preparing for a deployment to the Mediterranean in the coming summer as a demonstration of naval strength in response to Russian aggression, according to North Wales Live.
Trials in the Irish Sea:
HMS Queen Elizabeth’s current activities in the Irish Sea serve as preparation for its upcoming deployment.
On Monday, May 22, the warship was observed sailing north past Holyhead, with online trackers later indicating a northwest direction.
Anthony Ward, an Irish Ferries employee, captured images of the vessel as it passed the iconic South Stack lighthouse.
Mighty Vessel Specifications:
Measuring 282 meters in length, HMS Queen Elizabeth boasts a flight deck spanning an impressive four acres, equivalent to nearly three football pitches.
With a capacity to accommodate up to 40 aircraft, the carrier is a formidable asset.
In a tweet from the ship’s official account, it was stated that the vessel and crew are undergoing rigorous training in preparation for the next deployment.
Guarding Undersea Cables and Pipelines:
Speculation has arisen online regarding the purpose of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s patrol in the Irish Sea, with suggestions that it is safeguarding undersea cables and pipelines from potential Russian intervention.
However, the ship’s true objective is to lead the Carrier Strike Group 23 deployment in the Mediterranean in August, enabling its F-35 Lightning jets to conduct missions over the Black Sea.
Return to Anglesey’s Waters:
This marks the second time this year that HMS Queen Elizabeth has been in the waters off Anglesey.
In early February, the ship rendezvoused with Texan training aircraft from RAF Valley en route to Glen Mallan, Scotland.
During this visit, the vessel underwent resupply operations, accompanied by F-35 Lightning jets, Chinook helicopters, and Merlin helicopters, in preparation for upcoming exercises and operations in European waters.
HMS Queen Elizabeth’s presence off the Welsh coast during trials and drills has captured attention, as the ship prepares for its deployment to the Mediterranean.
With its impressive size and capabilities, the aircraft carrier exemplifies the Royal Navy’s commitment to showcasing naval strength.