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Epic photos of Britain's giant new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth meeting the USS George H.W. Bush

Picture: Getty Images

Two of Britain’s and America’s most powerful ships met up on Tuesday during their break from sea trials and training.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, the UK’s new £3.5 billion ($US4.6 billion) aircraft carrier, passed by the USS George H.W. Bush off the Scottish coast en route to its new home port of Portsmouth.

The British mega-ship has spent the summer conducting its first sea trials in the North Sea, while its US counterpart was in the Persian Gulf supporting ground troops in their fight against ISIS.

The Queen Elizabeth is now in British waters to take part in the training exercise known as Saxon Warrior, where it is hosting 60 members of the British Royal Navy and Royal Marines. The training began on August 1.

Below are some epic photos from the meetup:

The British carrier was on its way to Portsmouth after more than two months of sea trials in the North Sea.

The British aircraft carrier, left, with the USS George H.W. Bush.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to arrive in its new home port between August 17 and 22, with the exact date dependent on the weather, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced on Monday.

The USS George H.W. Bush was taking part in Saxon Warrior, a multiday joint exercise led by the Royal Navy.

From left: the American missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea, the USS George H.W. Bush, HMS Queen Elizabeth, and the British frigate HMS Westminster.

A total of 15 ships from across NATO are taking part in the exercise, the Royal Navy said, with more than 100 aircraft and some 10,000 people involved.

The official Twitter account of HMS Queen Elizabeth said it was 'a great opportunity to break from Contractor Sea Trials' to take photos with the USS George H.W. Bush and its task group.

The exercise involved over 60 Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines training on board the US carrier.

The USS George H.W. Bush, the large ship second from left, and HMS Queen Elizabeth to its right.

The training involves fighting off simulated threats from enemy forces with all of the task group's air, surface, and sub-surface capabilities, the Royal Navy said.

The fact that British sailors and marines are training on board the US ship 'shows the closeness of our relationship with the US Navy and the importance that both nations place' on the UK's development of its carrier strike capabilities, said Capt. Jerry Kyd, HMS Queen Elizabeth's commanding officer.

The British commanders also had some time to socialise -- Kyd invited Commodore Andrew Betton, the leader of the Saxon Warrior exercises, on board for drinks and sandwiches.

But there's one big problem.

Getty Images

At full strength, the Queen Elizabeth could have 36 fighter jets and four helicopters on board. But at the moment, it's empty.

The UK has 10 F-35 fighter jets, a Ministry of Defence spokesman told Business Insider UK, but none is in the country. The US contractor Lockheed Martin built them, and they are scheduled to be delivered to the UK in 2018. The earliest they could fly live combat missions is 2020.

The ministry expects to have 138 F-35s in the 2020s, the spokesman added.

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