Engineers aboard HMS Prince of Wales have turned on the diesel generators for the first time, say the Royal Navy.

The Royal Navy say that the vessel has four Wärtsilä diesel generators, each capable of producing more than 11 Megawatts of power, enough to support a town of 25,000 people.

Lieutenant James Sheridan-Browne, the carrier’s power and propulsion engineering officer, said:

“With the first run of HMS Prince of Wales’ diesel generators now complete, the ship is truly coming to life on its own systems. The running of diesel generators will now continue to provide a steady drumbeat to sailing the ship to Portsmouth in 2019.”

Simon Lister, managing director of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance added:

“To all involved – and that is a large proportion of the entire workforce – my thanks and congratulations on achieving the first diesel start.

This has seen focused effort, great innovation, real perseverance in the face of setbacks, and a commitment to quality that has been truly impressive.

These are becoming the hallmarks of HMS Prince of Wales. Great teamwork from a large number of groups and individuals. Well done, thank you, and now for the gas turbines!”

The builders are hoping the carrier will be leaving Rosyth dockyard for sea trials this time next year. The Aircraft Carrier Alliance are confident she will be ready for sea trials by November 2019.

Sir Simon Lister of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance said the ship is physically complete.

“We’re now at that stage of fitting out all the equipment inside the ship. Wiring it up, plumbing it up, and setting all that equipment to work. One of the powerful things about this contact is that any budgetary over-run is shared between the industry and government, so there is a very strong pressure to get this done at minimum cost to the taxpayer and companies,” he said.

It’s our objective to finish this programme on time and as close to budget as we can.”

People I spoke to at Rosyth on my last visit told me that building HMS Prince of Wales has been “20% to 25%” faster than building its sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth. When on HMS Queen Elizabeth two years ago, we were told that the build of HMS Prince of Wales was expected to be around 8 months quicker thanks to “lessons learned” in the build process.

The builders are already applying lessons from including improvements to the process of preparing its heat-resistant flight deck and installing an improved F-35 landing light systems earlier in the build process.

Recently, the Aircraft Carrier Alliance has successfully handed over the HMS Prince of Wales Navigation Bridge to the Royal Navy, a milestone originally planned for March 2019.

According to a news release:

“In the spring of 2018, we took the decision to bring this milestone forward, and since then the production team lead by Harry McCluskey and Mike Ballantine have worked tirelessly with multiple trades to bring this compartment up to the standard required for CCI. The Navigation Bridge is where the ship is commanded. When HMS Prince of Wales goes to sea, the bridge will be manned by the Ship’s Company and will include an Officer of the Watch aided by several Able Seaman acting as lookouts. The ship’s Commanding Officer, Captain Moorhouse and his Navigator will also be present on the bridge.”

The Aircraft Carrier Alliance say that the bridge was completed on time through collaborative work between multiple trades including, Babcock production, Balfour Beatty, Ticon, the Mission Systems IPT and Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine.

HMS Prince of Wales is also expected to take over F-35 trials to allow HMS Queen Elizabeth to return to dock for her routine re-certification work.

Former Captain of the vessel Ian Groom told media that HMS Prince of Wales will need to be delivered during 2019 to allow flight trails to continue whilst Queen Elizabeth is undergoing inspection in dry dock.

46 COMMENTS

      • Andy, As far as I am aware the trials next year for the PoW are more for the carrier strike capability. It appears to be that larger amounts of aircraft will land re fuel, re arm and take off. It is so the perimeters for safe handling of flights and squadrons can be worked out, distance between aircraft for launch etc.
        It will be a very busy time for the PoW, I wonder if any of the QE crew would be transferred over to the PoW to pass on experience of their trials and to gain new experience for the QE.
        I still have one major concern training for the crew if the automated magazine handling system breaks down or receives damage.

  1. This clearly demonstrates the recommendations behind the national ship building strategy.

    Real time efficiencies can be achieved by introducing a continuous build cycle for the replacement of warships, which the Americans seem to do very well.

    It would be truly wonderful for this country if Politicians understood, believed and invested in heavy industry to produce an efficient and smart procurement process that ultimately delivers benefits to the Chancellor and the country.

      • anywhere capable of producing heavy metal construction could be invited to fabricate more of the ships hulls the ships might be produced faster than the snails on the clyde

        • That’s not on. The build speed is dictated by people in suits that do not work in Shipyards, not people in suits and boiler suits who work in Shipyards.

        • if portsmouth dockyard in the early 1900’s built the first battleship dreadnought inside a calendar year. using good old rivets, and old techniques then it is not unreasonable for the clyde to produce two warships say, a t26 and a t31e per year.

          • If the Clyde was properly cared for it could easily build what ever we want at a competitive time frame, but the politicians seem to want to drag the build of the frigates out so as not order mor ships to keep the skills going!! The Scottish can build ships but it’s the government who reign in any potential.

    • Wishful thinking unfortunately..
      Underinvestment has always been the issue especially in heavy industry.
      Cheap one off investment with no future potential.
      Our schools and universities are also too busy teaching media studies

  2. If we remain in the EU when all the Brexit fiasco is finally over, the two QE Class carriers will end their careers absorbed into an EU lead defence force. As for the UK’s current opposition, to such an organization and remaining, will see the existing veto’s much reduced, including having a longterm independent foreign/defence policy?

  3. If Brexit doesn’t happen, aside from a civil war….we just hand these British ships over to the EU for them to have at their disposal? I guess in addition to £39 billion, 6 billion worth of aircraft carriers and several hundred billion worth of other hardware is a great deal for them…whats in it for us?

  4. Can we speed up her fitting out and in service date please- I think things are going to turn hot with Putin’s Russia very soon. Then we might regret cutting our SSN numbers to 7, our frigate fleet to just 13 (having sold 3 type 23s to Chile, and scrapped 4 type 22’s too early in 2010+2015) and only building 6 type 45s when we should have got 12.
    Things come home to roost and HMG might look stupid very, very soon- the sad thing being our brave servicemen and women will pay the ultimate price for HMG’s money pinching and spreadsheet Phill’s consistent declining requests for more funds to go into defence.

    • it will be too late by then we’ll soon see how poorly managed defense has been, when ‘comrades’ putin and his buddy corbyn are holding hands walking along the mall.

    • all the type 22’s were retired too soon, the new carriers have a projected operational span of 50 years and so should every ship theR.N buys.

    • it is an oft forgotten fact that berwick declared war on russia during the crimean war, its never been ended, so lets hope nobody remembers to tell putin

  5. Maybe if we stopped provoking the Russians by sending a
    fleet into the Black Sea things wouldn’t be quite so “hot”.
    The equivalent is Russia having war games in the Gulf of Mexico. Imagine the American response. Also watching last nights warship about HMS Duncan I’m shocked by how much the crew indoctrinated and wound up with anti Russian hysteria.

    • I quite agree Ian2.

      Been saying this for a while.

      Soon you too will be accused of appeasement or being a Russian Troll.

    • have not the russians been proking us with the swarming ‘fake attacks on duncan in the black sea, major incursions into u.k waters by the russian navy and the events in salisbury?if the ukraine does go ‘hot’ then anything could happen.

    • US provoking them? c’mon its the other way around mock swarm attacks on duncan in the black sea? 90% growth in russian activities in the waters around our coast at what stage do the mind games spill over into something more sinister? at times like thisthe foreign aid not yet actually handed out should be diverted to defense 13.4 billion£ per years to countries like india, pakistan tanzania e.t.c would be very useful, whatever, the ship constructors on the clyde should be told to get a bloody move on, get back, the 4 upholder class submarines sold to canada, negotiate the return of the 5 type 21’s pakistan is retiring, old tired they may be but returned to the u.k, dry docked, given their R.N. names back. and returned to the fleet the australians are to retire their 6 boat collins class submarines buy them. upgrade rivers to warships to the level of the sigma 105114 corvette with many of its specs almost the same as the rivers yet, 10 meters longer 6 knots faster,20 more crew, and, two triple torpedo launchers,exocet, a 76mm main gun, two quadruple anti air launchers one main thing is, OURS ARE ALREADY BUILT! A RUSH CONVERSION COULD SEE THE R.N with 9 new corvette/light frigates plus six type 21’s and as many s 10 hunter killer ssk submarines expand the fleet? ‘simples’ just think ‘outside the box and not be afraid to be radical all the above could be done and maybe get our type 22’s, and 23’s back from chile, brazil and romania while the clyde pulls its fingers out and gets those 26’s built.!!!

  6. While I am a supporter of the carriers, just can’t help thinking that we may have a teeny weeny issue digging out enough people to crew the bloody thing.

    • i’m more frustrated that one of the carriers will not be in operation at the same time as its sister, this game, as it is with the ‘albions’ shows how paltry our resources have become

    • Manning can be solved in large part by the assignment of proper amounts of funding to address these shortfalls. The first thing I’d do would be to FIRE the recruiting company the MoD hired to meet personnel needs who have failed abysmally. Next, address the maintenance and readiness stores issues, then manning, then the program steady modifications and upgrades to existing line vessels to arm them to the true limits of their design (think of what a powerful warship a T45 would be armed to the teeth as designed. This would include arming RFAs with VLS to launch a full array of missiles of all purposes. Last, all future RN warship builds should held to at least a one for one replacement rate and designed to be uncompromisingly armed to contribute fully to the fleet in hunter / killer, escort and strike, ASW etc roles with a healthy dose of GP capabilities built in. The UK COULD have both QEs in service if the political will existed. If it did, the money would be found. Till then, the dithering (and the bleeding) continues…

      Cheers.

      • Helions Helions….

        This is all faaar too sensible for HMG!

        I thought both would be in service if necessary just not a proper air group for both.

        • Terribly sorry… Whatever was I thinking? After all, the omnipotent beancounters in HM Treasury had this F35 shortfall PLANNED as to use USMC F35 assets indefinitely as a cost savings measure. Why pay for them when someone else will? Heaven’s sake…!

          Cheers

          • No point in delivering a lot F-35b’s now, because of the Block 4 upgrades from 2022,
            The cost of upgrading existing F-35 Block 3F to Block 4 could be as high as £500 million for UK. Have most new F-35b’s procured as Block4.

            Bring back the Harrier’s from the Boneyard, to be used on carriers until mid 2020’s.

      • RFA vessels are manned by Civil Servants, Not RN personal. RFA’s armed for self defence only. VL systems need to be on combat ships only, manned by RN.

  7. being ex forces i would not want my life in the hands of the person next to me who was forced to be there,i want someone like myself who joined on free will knowing that person has my back if the crap hits the fan,National service did not work for the Argies and as we have a pc snowflake society it certainly would never work us

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