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UK’s biggest warship sails into home port for first time

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May talks with Commodore Jerry Kyd, Captain of the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, during her tour of the ship, after it arrived at Portsmouth Naval base, its new home port, in Portsmouth

Britain’s most advanced and biggest warship, the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, berthed for the first time at its home port of Portsmouth on Tuesday.

The 280-metre vessel entered the harbour on England’s southern coast at 0610 GMT, greeted by thousands of spectators.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy, according to the Ministry of Defence.

“Today we welcome our mighty new warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, to her home for the very first time,” said Defence Secretary Michael Fallon. “She is Britain’s statement to the world: a demonstration of British military power and our commitment to a bigger global role.”

The ship is currently undergoing sea trials. It cannot yet deploy planes, but flying trials from its deck are due to begin in 2018.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May talks with Commodore Jerry Kyd, Captain of the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, during her tour of the ship, after it arrived at Portsmouth Naval base, its new home port, in Portsmouth

It took eight years to build HMS Queen Elizabeth, with construction taking place in six cities and involving 10,000 people.

Along with its sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, it is part of a defence programme worth £6 billion.

Commanding officer Captain Jerry Kyd told the BBC that the carrier “sends the right signals to our allies and indeed potentially to our enemies that we mean business.”

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