Air Platforms

HMS Prince of Wales arrives in Portsmouth

19 November 2019

HMS Prince of Wales sailing into Portsmouth harbour on 16 November. Source: Richard Scott/NAVYPIX

The UK Royal Navy's (RN's) second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier has arrived at Portsmouth naval base ahead of handover and formal commissioning.

HMS Prince of Wales sailed into its new base port on 16 November after completing an eight-week period of sea trials. Handover will represent the formal conclusion of manufacture activities undertaken by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (comprising BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales, and the UK Ministry of Defence).

Prince of Wales sailed from Babcock's Rosyth yard, were the vessel was assembled and integrated, on 19 September with a mixed ship's company of more than 600 RN sailors and about 300 civilian contractors. The carrier has subsequently completed trials in the North Sea, testing 158 essential systems on the ship including power and propulsion, radar systems, communications, and essential hotel and platform services. A first landing of a Merlin HM2 helicopter was also executed.

Prince of Wales will be commissioned on 10 December. The ship is scheduled to return to sea in February to begin further trials and initial work-up.

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