Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to sail out of Forth on Thursday morning

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The aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to leave Rosyth tomorrow morning.

The 65,000-tonne ship has passed a rigorous dry dock inspection and is leaving her birthplace once again. The maintenance was completed on time despite an initial delay to entering the basin because of bad weather.

HMS Queen Elizabeth lowered her pole mast to fit under the bridge en route to Rosyth. Pic: Katielee Arrowsmith/SWNS

HMS Queen Elizabeth lowered her pole mast to fit under the bridge en route to Rosyth. Pic: Katielee Arrowsmith/SWNS

A Royal Navy spokesman said the aircraft carrier is likely to set sail tomorrow at 11am, subject to the weather, meaning it will pass under the three Forth bridges shortly afterwards.

During the ship's time out of the water, 284 hull valves were changed, both rudder blades were removed and cleaned, the sea inlet pipes were inspected and all sacrificial anodes were replaced. A renewed coat of anti-foul paint was also applied to the ship’s bottom.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth returns to birthplace on Forth

The huge port and starboard anchors and cables were also laid out along the length of dock to allow them to be inspected.

HMS Queen Elizabeth leaves the basin in Rosyth. Pic: Peter Devlin/Devlin Photo

HMS Queen Elizabeth leaves the basin in Rosyth. Pic: Peter Devlin/Devlin Photo

It means the ship won't need to dock down again for another six years.

Head of Marine Engineering on board, Commander Mark Hamilton, said: "It’s the first time that such a short docking period has taken place with a Royal Navy ship of this size.

"It’s real testament to the great working relationship forged between the MOD and industry to make this such a success. We’ll now carry the concept forwards to future docking periods, as well as to those of our sister ship HMS Prince of Wales."

After a phased exit from Rosyth, into the Firth of Forth before passing once again under the Forth bridges, the ship will conduct a period of sea trials and training in preparation for her deployment to the east coast of the USA later this year.

HMS Queen Elizabeth was floated in July 2014 and sailed from Rosyth Dockyard for the first time in June 2017.

Since then she has crossed the Atlantic to conduct historic trials with F35 Lightning test fighter jets in the USA and worked up towards her official in-service date of 2020.

The boat's pole mast will be lowered to get under the three bridges on the Forth as it sails out.