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Prince of Wales sets sail for first time

20 September 2019
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The future HMS Prince of Wales puts to sea for the first time from Rosyth, Scotland, on 19 September. Source: Crown Copyright

The United Kingdom's second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, Prince of Wales , put to sea for the first time from its assembly site at Rosyth Dockyard in Fife on 19 September.

The 65,000-tonne carrier was manoeuvred out of the narrow lock entrance to the basin at the Babcock International-owned facility to begin a period of initial sea trials before being handed over to the UK Royal Navy (RN) later this year.

According to the RN, the ship will undergo trials off northeast Scotland before sailing southwards to its home port at Portsmouth Naval Base.

Naval sources said the carrier will spend several days laying off Rosyth to enable engine testing and crew training to be carried out before it moves under the large bridges across the Firth of Forth to begin an estimated eight weeks of trials. Its 600-strong naval crew is joined by a team of 320 civilian contractors, who will monitor the performance of the ship during the trials. After the ship arrives in Portsmouth it will be formally handed over to the RN by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance industry team led by BAE Systems and Babcock International.

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