HMS Prince of Wales reached an important milestone this week, conducting the first aviation serial from the carriers ops room.

According to a tweet on the HMS Prince of Wales twitter account, with the help of a DA-20 Falcon, the vessels crew tested their radars and important Air Traffic Control equipment which will be essential for conducting aviation at sea.

People I spoke to on-board the vessel 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 Aircraft Carrier Alliance are confident HMS Prince of Wales will be ready for sea trials by November 2019.

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Peter Crisp
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Peter Crisp

Are they still planning to modify this so that it can also do amphibious operations?

csm
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csm

From memory, the modifications were designed in and so are already incorporated.

Rooney
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Rooney

all the work on its utility for Amphibious Operations has been conceptual. Nothing physically has been altered. No wider assault routes, extra barracks for EMF or armouries etc.

maurice10
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maurice10

Over the 50 or so years of active service, she will possibly undergo a number of reconfigurations as the methods of warfare changes. There is a strong probability that 80% of air ops might be autonomous within twenty years, considering the rapid rate of high tech development currently being planned. Exciting times.

Mark
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Mark

Yes she need to be configured at all times for the wars she is likely to meet now and in the future and not get stuck in the past.

Liam
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Liam

Above the waterline there’s what looks to be an angular ‘skirt’ what’s that all about I wonder. Great photo.

Gunbuster
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Gunbuster

Done a few of these in my time as System Engineer even if it is a Pinkie serial as opposed to Gunbuster serial. The Falcon flies race tracks and you test basic radar detection ranges and auto tracking. You compare the GPS of the aircraft which is accurate to better than a couple of meters to what the radar say’s the aircraft’s position is to ensure accuracy of the radars auto tracking and track extraction algorithms. You also make calls on HF, VHF and UHF to determine that the radios are all good and to get an idea of the… Read more »

DaveyB
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DaveyB

I don’t know if they still do, but they used to do the same off Falmouth. You’d be up Pendennis castle and there would be a ship off shore with either a Falcon circle or a Hawk pretending to be an anti ship missile. It was good to watch for the first 20 minutes….