While touring the 4-acre aircraft carrier on November 16, Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson informed the public of the vessel’s commissioning date, IHS Janes reports.
The final step for the carrier is to finish contractors’ trials, which started October 30.
Queen Elizabeth II is to be present for the commissioning ceremony at the Portsmouth Naval Base on the UK’s southern coast.
The ship is the namesake vessel of the UK Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. The HMS Prince of Wales, the second Queen Elizabeth-class carrier, is under construction and is expected to join the fleet in 2020.
By 2023, the UK plans to deploy two 12-jet F-35B squadrons on the Elizabeth.
On August 16, then-Defense Minister Michael Fallon announced that HMS Queen Elizabeth would be homeported at Portsmouth. “She is Britain’s statement to the world: a demonstration of British military power and our commitment to a bigger global role,” Fallon said.
On November 1, Fallon jumped ship from his government post following allegations from MPs that he had engaged in predatory sexual behavior. “Many of these have been false, but I accept that in the past I have fallen below the high standards that we require of the Armed Forces,” he said in his resignation letter.