OSU junior H-back Curtis Samuel (4) rushes into the endzone for a touchdown during the first half of the Buckeyes game against Rutgers on Oct. 1. The Buckeyes won 58-0. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorIf there’s one word to define an Urban Meyer offense, it’s speed. Since being hired at Ohio State in 2012, the Buckeye offense under Meyer has finished the season twice ranked in the top 10. However, through many different players, Meyer has been attempting to reincarnate one of his greatest weapons from his time at the University of Florida.Former Florida Gator and NFL wide receiver Percy Harvin won two national championships for Meyer, alongside Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, and was the No. 1 playmaker for Meyer for the better part of two seasons.From Dontre Wilson in 2013, Jalin Marshall in 2014 and Braxton Miller in 2015, Meyer might have finally found his next Percy Harvin in junior H-back Curtis Samuel.And frankly, Samuel might be better. Meyer said on Tuesday’s Big Ten coaches’ teleconference that he believes Samuel should be in the Heisman Trophy discussion with his performance through the first four games.“I think it’s a little harder for those positions to get it, in H-back,” Meyer said. “But he’s certainly having that kind of year that he should be in the conversation.”The last time Meyer had two players in the Heisman race was with Tebow and Harvin in 2008. In Harvin’s 2007 sophomore campaign, he exploded for 764 yards and six touchdowns rushing, and 858 yards and four touchdowns receiving. The next season, before he declared early for the NFL, Harvin finished with 1,304 total yards and 17 touchdowns.While Samuel has eight games left in the regular season to rack up those numbers, he’s already on pace to surpass Harvin’s junior-year stats.Samuel has 673 total yards and five touchdowns through four games this season, compared to Harvin’s 461 total yards and five touchdowns through his first four games in 2008. To be fair, Samuel has had 18 more touches than Harvin did at this point, but the two are nearly identical in average yards per touch.Harvin was all over the field for Meyer back at Florida, much like Samuel. But unlike Harvin, and Buckeyes in the past Meyer tried to put into the role, Samuel has shown the ability to run between the tackles. Redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett is fairly similar to Tebow in his ability to takeover a game almost at will. Albeit in different styles, Tebow went to Harvin often, just like Barrett’s trust in Samuel.Meyer has always put trust into his quarterbacks and his playmakers, but what makes Samuel even more impressive when comparing him to Harvin is that OSU has a legitimate 1,000-yard running back in redshirt freshman Mike Weber.After the first game against Bowling Green, Weber and Samuel combined for 220 yards rushing, prompting Weber to equate the backfield duo to Lendale White and Reggie Bush, who accounted for an asstounding 3,042 rushing in 2005.At the time, it sounded ridiculous, but could it really happen? Could Weber and Samuel somehow be this good, and could Samuel be in the Heisman Trophy race?Statistically speaking, yes, both of those could happen. However, Harvin, Bush and White all performed at high levels for more than one season. For now, Samuel still has to live up to the expectations of following Braxton Miller and every other player to be named Meyer’s No. 1 playmaker.“I feel like both at receiver and at running back (I’m best utilized),” Samuel said. “I can be at running back and go against a linebacker, which is a mismatch, or I can go to receiver and be against a corner or safety, which I feel is still a mismatch.”
OSU redshirt freshman Mike Weber runs through Northwestern tacklers for one of his two touchdowns on Oct. 29, 2016 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorWith question marks surrounding the playoff hopes of the No. 6 Ohio State football team following a loss to Penn State, the Buckeyes were able to earn a 24-20 victory against Northwestern. However, Buckeyes fans might still be feeling uneasy with the performance put out on Saturday.With a relatively easy opponent at home on the schedule following a two-game stretch on the road, OSU was looking to capitalize and bounce back in convincing fashion. But it took the Buckeyes most of the game to put away the Wildcats.Redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett enjoyed a much more stout pocket than in weeks past, but still struggled to connect with his wide receivers. Overall, Barrett finished the day 21 for 32 with 223 yards, but connected with wide receivers on less than half of those completions.Redshirt freshman running back Mike Weber played an integral part in the win for the Buckeyes, picking up a pair of touchdowns after failing to score against Penn State and Wisconsin. He finished the day with 14 carries for 87 yards.On defense, a potent offensive attack for the Wildcats kept pace with OSU, matching the Buckeyes step for step throughout the contest. Anytime Urban Meyer and company found a way to break open a lead, Northwestern came firing right back.“It’s great to be home and get a W, a hard-fought W against a good team that had a lot of momentum,” Meyer said. “A lot of respect for Coach Fitzgerald.”The biggest proverbial thorn in the side of OSU was the ability of the Wildcats to pick up third downs, namely in long yardage scenarios. Northwestern finished the game eight for 16 on third-down conversions. The Buckeyes scored a touchdown on their first offensive drive of the game for the first time this season. The offense got the ball on its own 6-yard line, and moved the ball with ease down the field, spreading it out to four different players.After that, things reverted back to the way they were against Penn State, as OSU failed to string together plays. Although the pocket held for Barrett throughout the contest, there was little in terms of down-the-field passes and long, gashing runs.After receiving just 10 touches compared to last week, the involvement of junior H-back Curtis Samuel was a hot topic. Meyer said following the team’s loss last Saturday the Buckeyes did not get the ball to their No. 1 playmaker enough, and needed to fix that. Samuel’s workload increased to 14 touches, and he delivered in a big way. He picked up 99 total yards, and even found the end zone on a dive up the middle.“I love the way he runs the ball,” Meyer said.Wildcats’ redshirt sophomore quarterback Clayton Thorson averaged more than 240 yards per game passing coming into the contest. Against an OSU secondary that surrendered multiple chunk plays in the past few weeks, the Illinois native had a field day, hooking up with senior wide receiver Austin Carr eight times for 158 yards.“We had a gameplan going into the game of doing and we didn’t necessarily get it communicated properly on the field,” redshirt junior linebacker Chris Worley said.The Big Ten’s leading rushing, Northwestern junior running back Justin Jackson, had a relatively slow game. Rushing the ball 17 times for 76 yards, Jackson did not make any game-changing plays that propelled the Wildcats.OSU’s defense enjoyed an effective pass rush, putting pressure on Thorson for most of the game. Redshirt junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis picked up a sack, while the rest of the unit flushed the Northwestern quarterback from the pocket on multiple occasions. In a do-or-die kind of scenario, OSU found its back against the wall early in the fourth quarter with the game knotted at 17. The Silver Bullets stood tall, forcing a three-and-out from Northwestern, resulting in punt that gave the Buckeyes good field position.“I feel like this is one of the better teams in the Big Ten,” redshirt sophomore safety Malik Hooker said. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to come out here and just walk a walk. We knew it was going to be a dogfight this whole week.”OSU finally took advantage, moving the ball down the field with ease and scoring on a Samuel touchdown run from in close. The play was set-up by a 34-yard reception for redshirt freshman K.J. Hill.The second-year receiver said even with the scrutiny his unit has received, things remain the same in the wide receivers room while the team stays hard at work.“It (hasn’t) been nothing new,” Hill said. “We’ve just been trying to work hard and get everyone off our back really. That’s all we can do is try and get better each and every day in practice.”Hill’s involvement came after redshirt sophomore wide receiver Parris Campbell was injured while blocking on a run play. Campbell got rolled up, and appeared to hurt his ankle on the play. He did not return. Northwestern’s final offensive drive pushed the Buckeyes all the way to the south end zone student section. A key holding call against the Wildcats and stout coverage limited the damage, as OSU only surrendered a field goal. From there, OSU chewed the clock before a 35-yard rush and a powerful Weber run effectively sealed the game for the Buckeyes.OSU returns home next Saturday to face No. 7 Nebraska in Ohio Stadium at 8 p.m.
The Columbus Crew hosted English Premier League team Crystal Palace F.C. in an international friendly at Crew Stadium Wednesday and a game with unlimited substitutions resulted in a 2-2 draw between the American and British sides.Forward Adam Bedell drew first blood for the Black and Gold on an arching assist by defender Eric Gehrig in the 15th minute, but the opposition was not deterred as Palace’s Glenn Murray equalized with a 36th minute strike.The final 10 minutes of the first half saw the visiting Eagles engage a tighter defensive stance of contesting for possession, likely inspired to battle after their forward evened the game for them.“From the start, they sat back a little bit. That’s just the way that they, that’s just their game plan,” Bedell said after the game, speaking to what the Premier League squad did differently from the Major League Soccer defenses the Crew face every week. “A good block of eight, good defending … MLS teams, when the game’s 0-0, you just play. You don’t see that, that block of eight very often so I think that was the big difference.”Another Crystal Palace goal by substitute midfielder Jake Gray in the 70th minute of play occurred following a scuffle in the box, during which Crew goalkeeper Matt Lampson pled his case for having been interfered with on the play. The goal stood to give the guests the 2-1 lead after they had been threatening in transition for the majority of the evening.One of the Crew’s three defensive halftime substitutions saw a homegrown player from Bexley, Ohio, in Ross Friedman get his first career action in a Black and Gold kit when he came in for fellow defender Chad Barson.Friedman, 22, had been playing for the USL-PRO affiliate Dayton Dutch Lions but got the call to suit up as a Crew reserve against a top-flight international team.“I think going out at Dayton and trying to do the little things right — not slacking in any way — you know, prepares me for situations like this,” Friedman said. “This opportunity proves to show we can get called at any point. Situations happen and you’ve got to be ready. So I felt happy with my preparation and I’m ready to build off of it.”Columbus notched an 80th minute goal, however, to tie the game once more.Crew center midfielder Agustin Viana delivered a lofting assist from 35 yards away and his attacking counterpart, Daniel Paladini, fought to contact the ball in midair for the equalizing header. The tie game endured through two minutes of second-half stoppage time.“Adam (Bedell) was fantastic. He had a great header and Danny (Paladini) made a nice run trying to get midfielders running into the box. I was pleased over all,” Crew coach Gregg Berhalter said.Berhalter, who played as a defender for Crystal Palace from 2001-02, added that “the defending could have been a bit better.”The game marked the first of three stops on Crystal Palace’s American tour before the Premier League season kicks off in August.The Crew are slated to resume MLS play when they travel to Foxboro, Mass., to take on the New England Revolution in a crucial Eastern Conference matchup Saturday.Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
In the final meet before the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships, the Ohio State men’s and women’s track teams placed in the top two spots of 25 different events in the Buckeye Tune Up on Friday at French Field House, highlighted by Kendall Sheffield’s record-breaking sprint. Men’s recapSheffield, the Ohio State football team’s cornerback, broke the Ohio State’s 60-meter dash record and the French Field House record with a time of 6.663. The previous team record held by Jonathan Burrell and was 6.665. “It feels great to break the record,” Sheffield said. That time currently puts him at 24th in the nation. With his goal being one of 16 competitors at the national championships in March, Sheffield will have to trim off 0.03 of his time to earn a bid.Junior Coty Cobb reached the 5.41-meter mark on the pole vault for a personal record and stand as qualifier for nationals with one competition remaining. This was the goal for Cobb heading into this meet, and before he even landed on the pit, he was already celebrating what he had accomplished.“I was trying not to celebrate too hard and get ready for the next jump,” Cobb said.Cobb’s teammate senior Cole Gorski, whose personal best 5.47 meters is currently inside the top 16, had a disappointing day, but still finished second at 5.12 meters.The next jump was at 5.49 meters, or 18 feet, a mark that would’ve placed Cobb inside the top 10 in the nation. The closest he came to jumping that height was on his first attempt, when his body grazed the bar just enough to dislodge it.With one meet remaining before the national indoor championships, the No. 20 Ohio State men’s team has six athletes currently qualified, including top long jump qualifier Zach Bazile.Women’s recapIn throwing, junior Sade Olatoye finished second in weight throw at 22.61 meters. The distance would have broken her previous record she held at the French Field House had it not been already surpassed by Cincinnati’s senior Annette Echikunwoke, who recorded a 24.78-meter throw, the best in the nation so far this year.Olatoye did go on to win shot put with a throw of 16.78 meters.Freshman Anavia Battle continues to lead the Buckeyes’ sprinters, this time winning the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.43. Although she didn’t compete in the 200-meter dash, Ohio State didn’t have any trouble with the event for freshman Syaira Richardson finished first with a time of 24.69. Freshman Brooke Mangas got her first collegiate first place finish in high jump. She won with a jump 1.63 meters. In a rematch at pole vault from last week’s Music City Challenge meet, Cincinnati’s junior Brooke Catherine finished first at 4.11 meters ahead of senior Madison Roberts, who finished second at 4.01. Ohio State sophomore Megan Hoffman finished fourth (3.91).Ohio State heads off to the Big Ten Indoor Championships next weekend in Geneva, Ohio.
Ohio State then-freshman midfielder Liza Hernandez looks to pass in the offensive zone against Stanford on Feb. 24 at Ohio Stadium. Credit: James King | Sports DirectorThe Ohio State women’s lacrosse team fell to Jacksonville in a double-overtime thriller, losing 17-16 on the road Friday night. Ohio State junior attacker Sara Dickinson scored with 2.2 seconds remaining in the game to take the Dolphins (2-1) into overtime. Jacksonville gained possession on a free position shot and freshman midfielder Megan Prescott scored to win the game one minute into the second overtime period. Ohio State sophomore midfielder Liza Hernandez led the Buckeyes (1-2) with five points and junior midfielder Baley Parrott picked up three goals. Hernandez tied her career high of five goals. A goal by Hernandez nearly four minutes into the second half to tie the game at 13-13 was called back after a review in the Dolphins’ favor.The Buckeyes had 19 turnovers, eight of which came in the second half, which gave the Dolphins an opportunity to widen their lead. Ohio State was down by three goals entering the second half. Freshman midfielder Lindsey Epstein tied the game at 13 with 12:49 left in the second half. Both teams traded goals until the end of regulation. Jacksonville freshman attacker Alyssa Arnold scored with 1:34 left in the second half, leading 16-15. Senior midfielder Ashtyn Hiron led the Dolphins with four goals. Jacksonville had 37 shots compared to the Buckeyes’ 23 shots. Ohio State was 6-for-9 in free position shots. Jacksonville had a 15-14 draw-control advantage.Defensively, the Buckeyes held an advantage. Sophomore goalie Jillian Rizzo had six saves, helping the offense to close out the second half with a tie. The Buckeyes look to bounce back on the road against Cincinnati on Monday.
Ohio State junior infielder Emily Clark makes a tag on a Wright State runner on Sep. 24. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternIndiana began Big Ten play with a bang, sweeping the No. 18 Ohio State softball team in all three games the two teams played this weekend, outscoring the Buckeyes 19-4 in the three games.Indiana (10-21, 3-0 Big Ten) took control of the series from the beginning, holding the Buckeyes (19-7, 0-3 Big Ten) to just two hits in the first game of the series.Indiana’s junior pitcher Tara Trainer, a player Ohio State head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly described as “very competitive” and said would be one to watch for in this series, pitched all seven innings of the 6-0 shutout. The six unanswered runs for the Hoosiers came in pairs starting with two runs in the first inning, followed by two more in the second and another two in the fourth.The Buckeyes got on the board in the second game, but it wasn’t enough to take down the Hoosiers.Ohio State scored two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Junior catcher Emily Clark doubled and advanced to third on a throw while junior shortstop Lilli Piper made it to home. Clark later scored after senior first baseman Ashley Goodwin reached on a fielder’s choice.In the bottom of the fifth, however, Indiana put five runs on the board that inning alone. Freshman catcher Maddie Westmoreland’s home run contributed three of the five runs.Ohio State grabbed one run back after Clark scored in the top of the sixth, but the Hoosiers responded with four more runs in the bottom half to put the game out of reach. Ohio State was not able to get back in the game in the seventh, bringing Game Two to a close and giving the Hoosiers their second win of the weekend, ending the game at 9-3. The Buckeyes kicked off the third game with a home run by Piper in the top of the first.The Hoosiers tied the game in the bottom half of the first, however, with sophomore right fielder Gabbi Jenkins scoring on a wild pitch.The score remained at 1-1 until senior shortstop Rachel O’Malley stepped up with the bases loaded and hit a bases-clearing double to give Indiana the 4-1 lead. That base hit proved to be the game-winner for the Hoosiers.Ohio State will have its first home game at Buckeye Stadium at 6 p.m. Wednesday when it hosts Kentucky.
Nearly half of 111 calls have been abandoned at weekends at a scandal-hit ambulance trust which is to be put into special measures.NHS watchdogs found patients across Sussex, Kent, Surrey and north-east Hampshire were put “at risk of harm” because there were not enough staff to respond to their calls, resulting in long delays and patients simply giving up on the service.The investigation highlights a litany of failings at South East Coast Ambulance Service trust (Secamb), which has been rated inadequate.Inspectors were told of a “culture of fear” across the organisation, with bullying and harassment of staff who tried to raise safety concerns.The trust has been under scrutiny following a Telegraph investigation which revealed that up to 20,000 patients who rang 111 were forced to endure deliberate delays.The scandal saw the resignation of the trust’s chief executive in May, after an inquiry found that Paul Sutton personally ordered the covert scheme in 2014, despite warnings from managers. ‘Staff told us there was a culture of harassment and bullying’Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals The new inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found failings so serious that the trust has been forced into special measures. “I fully recognise that this is a challenging time for the Trust and accept that these are serious concerns which we must address’Geraint Davies, acting chief executive, South East Coast Ambulance Service trust Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Inspectors found the trust was the worst in the country for answering 999 calls promptly, and had the lowest proportion of cardiac arrest patients surviving as a result of resuscitation by paramedics.The 111 service run by the trust was found to be putting patients at risk of harm, with delays so long that patients gave up in despair. At weekends, up to 44 per cent of patients abandoned calls to the service, the report found, while the number of calls answered within 60 seconds sometimes fell as low as 3 per cent.“A high call abandoned rate is considered not to be safe and may reflect a high level of clinical risk for patients” inspectors warned. Paul Sutton resigned in May following the 111 scandal The watchdog identified Secamb as the worst performing trust nationally for answering 999 calls within five seconds, with the lowest survival rates for cardiac arrest victims.The percentage of cardiac arrest patients discharged from hospital alive, having had resuscitation from ambulance crews was just 3 per cent, half the national average.Medical equipment on ambulances could not be shown to be adequately maintained or safe to use, while cleanliness standards were failed amid poor infection control.The CQC report ranked the organisation as inadequate overall, with its emergency and urgent care services specifically found to be inadequate and that the emergency operations centre and 111 service as requiring improvement.Professor Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, said staff were doing their best “treating patients kindly, with dignity, care and compassion,” but that their leaders had let them down.”It was apparent that the leadership had not been supporting staff to do their jobs effectively. Staff told us there was a culture of harassment and bullying,” he said.NHS Improvement said it would soon appoint an improvement director at the trust and would place it in special measures on recommendation from the CQC. It comes amid speculation that the trust could merge with neighbouring South Central Ambulance Service.Since the departure of Mr Sutton, the trust’s acting chief executive has been Geraint Davies, who was also criticised over the 111 scandal.The NHS inquiry into the matter singled out the then director of commercial services for failing to alert local commissioners to plans to delay responses to life-threatening calls.Yesterday he said: “I fully recognise that this is a challenging time for the trust and accept that these are serious concerns which we must address.“We understand the seriousness of placement into special measures but would value the additional support that this would offer us. We expect that the move will mean the work we have already started can continue at pace.”
A commuter train carrying around 2,000 passengers exceeded a speed limit by 70mph, according to an official report.The London Midland train was travelling through Queen’s Park in north-west London when the incident occurred, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) said.Investigators said the number of passengers on board meant it had the potential to be “very serious”.The train was driven by one of London Midland’s driver managers, who are responsible for managing groups of train drivers.He had recently joined the company and was being assessed by another driver manager. Neither of them was aware a speed limit had been broken until they arrived at their final destination, London Euston.An emergency 5mph limit had been imposed due to a crack in a set of points, but the driver sped through the area at 75mph.The report stated that he did not slow down as he had “misunderstood” the location of the restriction in an email. Trackside warnings were provided on approach to the restricted speed limit, the report said. Library imageCredit:Scott Barbour/Getty Details were also given on a notice where he arrived for work and trackside warnings were provided on the approach.The speed limit was broken at 8.28am on Tuesday, January 5 and the train involved was the 7.39am service from Bletchley in Buckinghamshire.No one was injured, there was no further damage to the track and no impact on the train, which continued its journey to London Euston.The RAIB made three recommendations to London Midland in a bid to enhance the training of driver managers, improve the communication of safety critical information and to implement a means of quickly identifying the driver of any train.Three learning points were also identified concerning the importance of managers fully preparing before driving trains, the need for driving assessors to prepare as if they were driving the train and the use of unambiguous words in safety communications. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
He said: “I actually think the reverse. No-one really knows what it’s going to mean from a commercial point of view. There are going to be so many things to be worked out that to add Scottish independence on top would be foolhardy.”Sir Tom, who made £290 million from the sale of the Sports Division business to JJB Sports in 1998, told The Herald that Brexit had not made him less likely to invest in the UK, but he expressed concern about the lack of information on what Brexit would mean in practice.He did not publicly back Yes or No in 2014 but has called since for Scotland to “move on” from the vote and for the parliament to use its new powers.In September last year he urged party rivals to unite and “focus upon building a more prosperous, productive and fairer Scotland where opportunity prevails for all”. He added: “The population decided, politicians are democratically elected and should and must respect the decision of the voters.” Nicola Sturgeon launching her Brexit proposals One of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs has said he cannot understand why Nicola Sturgeon wants to keep Scotland in the EU while taking it out of its “biggest trading union” with the rest of the UK.The First Minister has warned a second independence referendum remains “highly likely” if Scotland is not able to remain in the single market.But Sir Tom Hunter, the sports and property tycoon, said a new vote would be “foolhardy” because of the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process.He added: “There’s enough uncertainty for us all to deal with. I can’t quite understand why the government wants to take us out of one union which is our biggest trading union but keep us in another one.“I really do think it would be the wrong thing to bring up another independence referendum at this point. I’m not saying never, just not now.”The millionaire businessman also rejected suggestions that Scotland’s vote to remain in the EU had boosted the case for breaking up the UK. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Ms Sturgeon unveiled her plan to keep Scotland in Europe on Tuesday, when she presented three options for remaining in the single market and was accused of trying to exploit Brexit to achieve independence by the back door after demanding a swathe of new powers.Her blueprint involved Holyrood getting some control over issues ranging from immigration to business regulation and international trade negotiations.She also rejected warnings from a series of academics that Scotland and England having different business and immigration regimes would lead to a hard border between the two.Theresa May later poured cold water on the proposals, telling MPs not to assume that Scotland would get a “differential” deal. Meanwhile, the SNP accused the UK Government on Friday of recklessly causing “six months of damaging uncertainty” to the economy and society.Stephen Gethins, the party’s Europe spokesman, said ministers had continued the “gross irresponsibility and negligence” of the Leave campaign by refusing to give any details about what leaving the EU will mean beyond “meaningless slogans”.
Mind the gap!Credit:PA HMS Queen Elizabeth starting to exit the dock, Rosyth, Scotland, 26 June 2017Credit:PA Sailors and engineers have worked round the clock getting the vessel ready. A total of 1,000 sailors and contractors will be onboard for the first six weeks of testing.Crew have spent hours each day carrying out safety drills for fires, flooding and personnel overboard. More than 650 doors and hatches have been checked to ensure they are watertight and fire safe. The warship under steam off the coast of ScotlandCredit:BEN SHREAD/Ministry of Defence Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. After trials begin this summer, the ship will move to its new home in Portsmouth this autumn. Trials for planes and helicopters will take place next summer.The flight deck is more than four acres in size and the ship can carry up to 36 F-35B stealth jump jets. Ian Booth, managing director of the defence industry alliance behind the ships, said: “The incident with the fire in London really brings it home to you, you don’t take chances with any incident on the ship, whether it be flooding or fire.” The Royal Navy has not had an aircraft carrier since the defence cuts of 2010. The arrival of the new carrier comes as the Navy is facing a budget black hole of around £500m each year and the demands of manning the new ships have been accused of causing shortages elsewhere.Critics of the carriers have also claimed they are expensive white elephants that are too vulnerable to new high speed missiles. HMS Queen Elizabeth on the Firth of ForthCredit: Andrew Milligan/PA The first steel was cut on the carrier eight years ago but it will not be sent on operations until 2021. Early deployments are expected to see US Marines F-35B jets embarked alongside British planes, to make up for early shortages of UK jets. Cdr Mark Deller, commander air, said the ship would be accompanied by a frigate or destroyer.He said: “We will go where it’s best to go and not where it’s best for a Soviet nuclear to go, so the reality is we can probably look after ourselves as long as our escort is in the right place at the right time. You don’t have to hang around and endure it, you can move away and go somewhere else.” “If XP is for operational use, it is extremely risky,” Alan Woodward, professor of computing at the University of Surrey told The Times. “Why would you put an obsolete system in a new vessel that has a lifetime of decades?” Sir Michael Fallon insisted the security around the computer software on the aircraft carrier is “properly protected”. Capt Jerry Kyd, commanding officer, said: “There is nothing on the globe that is invulnerable, whether that’s a city, a car, an individual, or a ship. We are not shy in the military to understanding the risks and how we mitigate that in the theatre of war.“If you look at all the premier nations around the world, why is it that every nation in the top tier is investing billions of dollars in aircraft carriers? Is it just us, or has everyone got it wrong? The reason being is that they provide the government, very simply, with an incredibly flexible tool. It’s not just about war-fighting. This is about deterrence, coercion, signalling, proving a huge sea base for disaster relief, humanitarian assistance, defence engagement.” Fears have been raised that Britain’s largest ever warship could be vulnerable to cyber attacks after it emerged it appears to be running the outdated Microsoft Windows XP.As HMS Queen Elizabeth left its dockyard for the first time to begin sea trials, it was revealed the £3.5billion aircraft carrier is apparently using the same software that left the NHS exposed.Screens inside a control room on the ship, which is the largest vessel ever built for the Royal Navy, reportedly displayed Microsoft Windows XP – copyright 1985 to 2001.But Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, insisted the ship’s systems were safe because security around the computer software on the aircraft carrier is “properly protected”. Captain Jerry Kyd, Commanding Officer, onboard the HMS Queen ElizabethCredit:Jeff J Mitchell/Getty The aircraft carrier squeezes out of dock to begin sea trialsCredit:Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Europe A screen in the operations room on board HMS Queen Elizabeth (right) appears to be running Windows XPCredit:Jeff J Mitchell/Getty It came after the 65,000 ton HMS Queen Elizabeth slipped out of Rosyth dockyard and into open water on Monday through an exit with only 14in clearance on either side and 20in of water under the keel.The aircraft carrier then edged along the Forth under three bridges, including the landmark rail bridge, with a little over six feet to spare. Cdr Fiona Percival, head of logistics on the ship said: “[The Russians] will come and look, but they look at everything.”It came as the Defence Secretary taunted the Kremlin over fears it will attempt to spy on HMS Queen Elizabeth during its sea trials, saying Russia will envy Britain’s new flagship. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s not the system itself, of course, that’s vulnerable, it’s the security that surrounds it.”I want to reassure you about Queen Elizabeth, the security around its computer system is properly protected and we don’t have any vulnerability on that particular score.” The radio mast has been lowered to allow the vessel to pass under a bridgeCredit:Andrew Milligan/PA He said 2021 “will be the first time we will deploy this ship in anger”. Cdr Mark Deller, commander air on the Queen Elizabeth, told The Guardian: “The ship is well designed and there has been a very, very stringent procurement train that has ensured we are less susceptible to cyber than most.”He added: “We are a very sanitised procurement train. I would say, compared to the NHS buying computers off the shelf, we are probably better than that. If you think more Nasa and less NHS you are probably in the right place.” Bosuns mate Scott Campbell guards the Navy’s new warshipCredit:Getty A defence source told the newspaper that some of the on-boar hardware and software “would have been good in 2004” when the carrier was designed, “but now seems rather antiquated”.However, he added that HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to be given a computer refit within a decade.And senior officers said they will have cyber specialists on board to defend the carrier from such attacks. Sir Michael Fallon contrasted the carrier with what he called the “dilapidated” Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, which sailed through the Channel late last year. The carrier’s flight deck is more than four acres in size He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s not the system itself, of course, that’s vulnerable, it’s the security that surrounds it.”I want to reassure you about Queen Elizabeth, the security around its computer system is properly protected and we don’t have any vulnerability on that particular score.”The operating system was that which left the NHS and other organisations around the world vulnerable to a major WannaCry ransomware attack last month. It affected 300,000 computers in 150 countries.Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, meaning it does not receive updates to protect users from new types of cyber hacks. A computer expert warned that Windows XP could leave HMS Queen Elizabeth vulnerable to cyber attack. The trials mark the latest milestone in the nearly decade-long building of the Royal Navy’s two carriers, at a cost of more than £6bn.The Navy is also preparing for the warship’s first appearance to attract a concerted Russian spying effort, with submarines, ships and planes try to get a good look at the UK’s new flagship.