Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Navy warship USS Theodore Roosevelt arrives in Solent

USS Theodore Roosevelt Image copyright Caroline Podesta
Image caption The carrier arrived at 17:00 GMT in Stokes Bay as it was too large to dock at Portsmouth's Royal Navy base

A giant US aircraft carrier carrying more than 5,000 sailors has arrived in the Solent.

The 4.5-acre (1.8-hectare) warship has been anchored off Stokes Bay because it is too big to dock at Portsmouth's Royal Navy base.

Its sailors were due to disembark the ship for shore leave later this week.

Portsmouth City Council said the influx of the ship's crew to the city could lead to a boost of about £1.5m for the local economy.

Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth council said: "This is great news for Portsmouth because it means money spent in local businesses: restaurants, cafes and shops, as well as strengthening the ties between the British and American Navy."

Image copyright Juha Vauhkonen
Image caption One of the crew tweeted this photo of the carrier en route to Stokes Bay

'US steel'

The visit is the ship's first port of call in its round-the-world deployment.

The Royal Navy's First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, said: "It is excellent to see US Navy carrier steel in Portsmouth. And in barely two years we will see UK carrier steel here too."

The ship is substantially larger than the Royal Navy's next generation of carriers, due in 2017, which weigh in at 65,000 tonnes.

The Roosevelt is accompanied by its escort ship, the destroyer Winston S Churchill, which traditionally has a UK navigator on board to honour the ship's British connection.

Image copyright USS Theodore Roosevelt
Image caption The carrier "shot some aircraft off the flight deck" during practice flight operations

The post is currently held by 27-year-old Lieutenant Lynsey Sewell.

During the five-day visit the two navies will also come face-to-face on the football field when a Theodore Roosevelt team face HMS Diamond at HMS Temeraire.

The two ships will depart on March 27.

Image copyright U.S. Navy
Image caption Portsmouth is the ship's first port of call in its round-the-world deployment

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites