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Queen to name Navy's new carrier

The Queen will officially name the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier at a ceremony this summer.

A traditional champagne christening will be held at Rosyth dockyard in Fife to mark the completion of the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Thousands are expected on the banks of the Firth of Forth for the event on July 4, including members of the ship's crew and workers who helped to build it.

The 65,000-tonne ship is Britain's biggest ever carrier and is said to be the most complex warship built in the UK.

More than 7,000 people in more than 100 companies across the country have worked on its construction.

The dock will be flooded later in July so the ship can be floated for the first time.

Sea trials are expected to begin in 2017, with flight trials of Lightning II aircraft starting the following year.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said: "This will be a proud and historic day, not just for the Royal Navy but for the entire nation. It is great news that Her Majesty will officially name the first aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

"This occasion will mark a major milestone in regenerating the UK's aircraft carrier fleet and its power projection capability, with the first Lightning II aircraft due to begin flight trials off the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2018."

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas said: "The Royal Navy is delighted that Her Majesty will name this great ship - the first of a class that will return fast-jet carrier operations to our nation's war fighting credibility.

"We have a great journey ahead, in close partnership with the Royal Air Force, to create and sustain the best that our shipbuilding, engineering, technology and people can deliver. And we are proud to have the chance to show what we can do."

Work is under way on the carrier's sister ship, the Prince of Wales, which is to be assembled in Rosyth dockyard later this year.

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