HMS Prince of Wales, originally at 30 days’ notice to sail, has now sailed at eight days’ notice to fill in for HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The vessel was originally hoped to sail yesterday but sailed this afternoon from Portsmouth after a brief 24-hour pause.

The carrier will lead a carrier strike group of eight ships – four of them British, including frigate HMS Somerset and two Tide-class tankers from the Royal Fleet Auxiliary – supported by US, Spanish and Danish vessels.

According to the Royal Navy:

“They form one of the most potent naval forces of the exercise – an allied fleet of 40 vessels, drawn from more than two dozen nations, is committed to the seagoing element of Steadfast Defender, which will take place off Norway’s Arctic coast in March. Britain’s flagship brings the awesome capability of her F-35B Lightning stealth fighters from 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron at RAF Marham, submarine hunting and airborne early warning Merlin Mk2 helicopters from RNAS Culdrose, and battlefield Wildcat helicopters of 847 Naval Air Squadron from RNAS Yeovilton.

Before heading for Norwegian waters and the High North, the Carrier Strike Group will hone its collective skills in northern Scotland courtesy of the UK’s regular Joint Warrior exercise. From there the force moves to the High North and Exercise Nordic Response – the maritime element of Steadfast Defender – with the emphasis on protecting northern Norway, Sweden and Finland to defend the Nordic nations from ‘attack’.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth was supposed to sail for this exercise but a fault was found prior to departure.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Ian
Ian
3 days ago

According to the newspapers, sailing at 8 days’ notice when you are supposed to be at 30 days’ notice is deemed to be ‘an embrassment’…

Frank
Frank
3 days ago
Reply to  Ian

To be fair though, the fault on the QE was initially found on the 8th of Jan…. so we should assume that certain minds were focussed on the possibility that QE might not sail, especially given the previous issue with POW’s Coupling…… Add that to the Failed departure yesterday and it doesn’t really sound that far off….. personally I think it was embarrassing on both counts but I’ll be happy to see the positive side…. the fact we can actually deploy such an amazing ship given the state of our defence forces at the moment….. Interesting times ahead I fear.

Iain
Iain
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank

The issue might have been found then but the decision not to risk her would seem to have been taken significantly later in the month. The notifications to crew were sent out at almost the exact moment that the change of ships was announced to the press and a number of crew members were reporting that they saw it first on websites before they got their recall notices.
Judging by that alone this is a magnificent effort by all involved to get her turned around and out to sea.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
3 days ago
Reply to  Iain

Any major issues should come to light over the coming months, especially up in the High North (Exercise Nordic Response).

Tuesday 2/13

Morning

Gale warning with dangerous seas. Small craft advisory. Use extreme caution. Large short-period wind waves.
Seas: S 3.8 to 4.9 meters at 9 seconds.
Winds: SSE 29 to 40 knots.

Afternoon

Very windy with large choppy seas. Small craft advisory. Moderate short-period wind waves.
Seas: S 2.8 to 3.7 meters at 8 seconds.
Winds: SSW 20 to 27 knots.

https://

buoyweather.com/wxnav6.jsp?program=nww3BW1&grb=nww3&region=NO&latitude=60.5&longitude=4.0&zone=1&units=m

Last edited 3 days ago by Nigel Collins
Frank
Frank
3 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Good afternoon Nigel…. I don’t know if you visit this place but I always take a look at Zoom Earth….. It’s a great site to view all different weather info in the North Atlantic area….Way better than the BBC and Met Office sites, in my opinion.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Hello Frank, Not visited this one before from memory, It should prove very useful for the deployment cheers!

FieldLander
FieldLander
3 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Blimey, I am sure she is fast, but not that fast.

Frank
Frank
2 days ago
Reply to  FieldLander

Warp Drive !

Frank
Frank
3 days ago
Reply to  Iain

But basically, that’s what I said though isn’t it ? 🤔

Deep32
Deep32
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Got a very good view of her departing from the top of Portsdown hill mate, nice clear day to see it.

Lets hope she stays away for a few months now (nicest possible terms).

Frank
Frank
3 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Yup…. lets hope mate…… oh how i would love to be on her though….

Iain
Iain
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Not really, the implication you made was that it took from Jan 8th to get her prepared for sea. Jan 8th they had found a problem but the investigation of that took time and the decision to switch happened significantly later. I think it is clear that until the final day before her scheduled departure they clearly still planned to take QE. It would be a decision much higher up the chain of command as far as risk holders is concerned that said, you know what, it is an exercise so there is no point in taking that risk when… Read more »

Frank
Frank
3 days ago
Reply to  Iain

well If you believe that then fine…. personally I prefer to think that RN Staff had the foresight to pre-empt such a scenario…. therefore reducing the 30 day rule quite considerably….. but heck, what do I know ?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Happy now Frank 😆👍

Frank
Frank
3 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

delirious now mate ….lol 😂

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Good evening Frank, off-topic, but can you recall the idiot on here who keeps banging on about UK homeland defence and a decent stockpile of suitable missiles to defend and deter 😆 Three former senior NORAD officials argue in this op-ed that the homeland defense must be treated like theater defense, prepared for multi-tiered attack. “With oceans on either side, the American homeland for centuries has had geography as a first line of defense against adversary actions. But in the op-ed below, three former senior NORAD officials say the missile-based threat to the homeland is growing and diversifying by the… Read more »

Peter Crisp
Peter Crisp
3 days ago
Reply to  Ian

It’s the star trek effect.
The engineer says something will take 30 days and the captain orders it done in 45 minutes.
Somehow they always get it done.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
3 days ago
Reply to  Peter Crisp

Do you always exaggerate your repair estimates.
Aye captain, how else can I maintain my reputation as a miracle worker!!

Frank
Frank
3 days ago
Reply to  Peter Crisp

There’s klingons on the starboard bow…….. and all that lol.

Jim
Jim
2 days ago
Reply to  Ian

The UK media is the national embarrassment, imagine the USN trying to work up a carrier and setting sale after 8 days. No one could do this, it’s a vindication of the CVF concept. As for the ships being maintenance hungry they are being worked hard, all ships have issues especially aircraft carriers, look at the problems France has had with CDG and the USA with the Ford class. As for the ships some how being built to a low standard and not like the good old days just look an Invincible that had a near total failure of her… Read more »

Martyn Heale
Martyn Heale
3 days ago

So HMS Prince of Wales is having to rely on Spanish and Danish escorts because the only one that we can conjure up is HMS Somerset. Not good.

AlexS
AlexS
3 days ago
Reply to  Martyn Heale

Well without even a Phalanx in PoW the carrier is basically defenceless.

Imagine if Iranians/Houthis have a merchant in Atlantic with drones.

Frank
Frank
3 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

“Well without even a phalanx in (on) POW the carrier is basically defenceless” absolutely spot on mate…. apart from all the many other ships that form this CSG and all the F35’s and Merlins and Wildcats and VLS and CIWS and Main guns and Submarines and Land Based Aircraft and P8’s and GCHQ and GPMG and Advanced Sonar, Radar and Counter measures….. But yes, you are spot on ….🙄

Jacko
Jacko
3 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Not to worry there are one or two posters on here who think the Govt will not send either carrier to somewhere they might get the paint scratched! So you see they don’t need defences anyway👍

Redshift
Redshift
3 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Oh yes the famous Houthi blue water Naval Q ships … Honestly try to Be a little bit sensible whilst whining on and on and on

Frank
Frank
3 days ago
Reply to  Martyn Heale

Not really….. It’s a 40 Nation combined exorcise, so it’s a pre planned mix of NATO Assets all combining to crate a force larger than anything since the end of the cold war……. but I get your thinking. 😎

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank

We must remove the Russian Ghost possessing Western Europe!

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
3 days ago
Reply to  Martyn Heale

Clueless

Jacko
Jacko
3 days ago
Reply to  Martyn Heale

It is NATO exercise! The whole point of it is to get the various nations working together. We have ships escorting CDG as well as American carriers!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
2 days ago
Reply to  Martyn Heale

Exercise Nordic Response is a NATO exercise. The Carrier leads NATO ships. Very good.
American carrriers often sail on a NATO exercise with a number of Canadian or European NATO escorts.

Last edited 2 days ago by Graham Moore
Frank
Frank
2 days ago
Reply to  Martyn Heale

There are Two Danish, Two British and one German frigate joining her at Plymouth…. there will be further Frigates, Destroyers and other ships from many different NATO States plus two Tides and at least one Astute.
Over 50 ships in total….. 20,000 UK Personnel (of which there are 2000 sailors) out of a total of 90.000 including 15,000 Polish and 10,000 Germans.

Wiki has a good article on the “Exorcise Steadfast Defender”.

James
James
1 hour ago
Reply to  Martyn Heale

Wouldnt be much of NATO/Multinational exercise if she only sailed with the RN really would it.

Frank62
Frank62
3 days ago

Still can’t make out for certain if any Phalanx are fitted. If they are, the radomes are grey rather than the usual white.
Have all RN mini guns fitted on warships been replaced by .5 inch bowning HMGs?

Noth
Noth
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

I had a look at some of the pics on X/twitter, Phalanx doesn’t appear to be fitted. Shame that extra day wasn’t used to fit them.

Paul T
Paul T
2 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

I thought POW had just the one – could be mistaken though 🤔.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
2 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Cardigan Bay has grey domed Phalanx and still has a mix of mini guns and 50 cals.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 days ago

So where are all the posters who got their moans in yesterday that she had also broken down or had no crew, hmmmmm?
I know we are in a state regards numbers in areas of our military, but come on. Who else can put a second carrier to sea at that short notice?

Frank
Frank
3 days ago

Here mate…. guilty as charged but actually, i was more along the lines of disappointed and dismayed at the apparent repeat…….. every part of me really wanted to see QE go and every other part of me wanted to see POW go too……. It’s just a fantastic thing that POW has now gone after such a short period of (Confirmed) notice and I’m more than 1000% behind her and her crew ( two friends are on her) and on top of that, i want to wish everyone on board and in the entire group, the best of luck….. POW has… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Begging your pardon, Captain, I don’t include you. I don’t recall your jokey comments included moans about breaking down or that there were no crew, all seemingly baseless.
Only that she’d not sailed.

Frank
Frank
3 days ago

😆…. you are excused mate….. my jokey comments mostly cause me trouble though….. lol……. every so often I want to unveil myself to you on FB….. yet my better judgement reigns me back lol…… 😂

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Don’t worry about that mate. I won’t bite. It’ll be a blast. I’m in contact with 2 others on this site so drop me a message saying hi.

Nevis
Nevis
3 days ago

Yeah but it doesn’t have 144 jets on it. I want my carrier to have 36 jets on deck and 100+ plus buzzing round it like a wasps nest. Picture the final battle scene in Independence Day. That’s what our carrier should look like. 😬

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
2 days ago
Reply to  Nevis

That’s it!! Nothing less will do. Don’t forget the Mk41s and 25 CIWS mounts.

klonkie
klonkie
3 days ago

Hi Daniele

I must confess I’ve become a little disappointed with the amount of negative commentary form some folk on the site off late (maybe it’s just me). Anyway, this is an an excellent achievement.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 days ago
Reply to  klonkie

Agree. It is like a national pass time.
We’re all pissed off by cuts but the moaning becomes a habit for some regardless of any positives.

Redshift
Redshift
3 days ago
Reply to  klonkie

It’s been like this for ages, so many people just repeat and repeat the same old clap trap. The same comment on almost every article is tiresome and is certainly making this a less pleasant place to visit.

John
John
2 days ago
Reply to  klonkie

“Its a gunners right to moan”….the rest should not 😬

Frank
Frank
2 days ago
Reply to  klonkie

Stop being so negative about the Negative posters. 😂😆

klonkie
klonkie
16 minutes ago
Reply to  Frank

hah ha you got me good Frank ! Must be an English thing, me being of ex-South African stock. I’d better tread lightly though as I’m married to a Surrey lass!

George Amery
George Amery
2 days ago

Hi Daniele,
Agreed there’s so much negativity around at the moment. I think I mentioned on here to have HMSPOW ready at short notice is fantastic and how many really can do that? As ever the true British spirit comes out when push comes to shove! I bet main stream media don’t mention if anything at the fast pace of events. They would if there were continued problems and she was stuck in port still.
Cheers
George

John Stevens
John Stevens
2 days ago

I know mate. I thought the same thing.

DC647
DC647
3 days ago

Someone had took the keys home and nobody knew where the spare set was.

PGS
PGS
3 days ago

Now she’s out out sea I hope POW make’s a full contribution to the exercise. Its a worrisome time in the world and we need our carriers to be assets we can rely on should push ever come to shove.

Frank
Frank
2 days ago

Anyone know what will now happen with QE ? Does she have to be dry docked ? I read something that said this coupling issue wasn’t the same as the POW one and I’m sure I read that Divers found corrosion but then I saw mention of the coupling being inside the ship….🤔

Frank
Frank
2 days ago

In other news, HMS Diamond shot down 9 Drones…. she has them painted on her side….

AlexS
AlexS
2 days ago
Reply to  Frank

An USMC pilot in an “obsolete” Harrier downed 7 Houthi/Iran drones..

Last edited 2 days ago by AlexS
Ron
Ron
2 days ago

I am not sure but would this be the first deployment where PoW has squadron strength F35Bs on board? If so it will be a fast learning curve. Well done to the crew getting her ready and good luck for the Ex.

Jonathan
Jonathan
2 days ago

8 days is very impressive, it does show the need for mass and numbers…just enough is not enough.