The aircraft carrier is steadily developing skills handling and operating multiple aircraft at once as part of trials following a period alongside.

The ship is off the south west coast to conduct a period of Basic Operational Sea Training to test ship and crew capabilities.

According to a Royal Navy release:

“HMS Prince of Wales has returned to sea for a spell of testing and trialling, following several months of maintenance and installing key equipment. HMS Prince of Wales is most capable and powerful surface warship ever built for the Royal Navy and will be a future flagship for the next 50 years.

The intense operational training enables – Availability, Sustainability and Lethality of HMS Prince of Wales. The Ship’s Company are crucial to the successful operation of the ship and training and trials are essential in ensuring that HMS Prince of Wales is the cornerstone of a Modern, Ready and Global Navy for a Global Britain.”

IImage Crown Copyright 2021.

 

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Alan
Alan
1 month ago

I anticipate the mindless pile on by the ‘carriers have planes’ characters but having PoW and QE at sea simultaneously (even when one isn’t supposed to have F35 onboard) is a salient reminder that Britain can’t afford to equip these ships for war even relying on USMC to make up the numbers.

Benjamin Rule
Benjamin Rule
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan

Disagree. The primary intention is to have one available with the second providing resilience. The fact that Queen Elizabeth is deployed demonstrates we can equip it for operation. Yes we have US planes on board but that could often be the case and in time we will have more F35s of our own delivered. If there was a mega crisis and we needed both carriers to deploy together we would do it and deploy all the aircraft we had to do the job. As more F35s are delivered the surge capacity will grow. If nothing else it shows we can… Read more »

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Benjamin Rule

France and Italy both have one carrier, and have roughly comparable sized defence budgets/armed forces. Having a £3bn super carrier sitting in reserve is a waste of resource, not to mention the costs of upgrades/maintenance.

Wouldn’t you rather have that money spent on
1. more F35B as current max numbers in doubt
2. bigger surface fleet i.e Type 45/26/31

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Hi James. Inclined to agree with Benjamin here. The 2 carriers guarantee availability whereas France’s single carrier means she may not be in service when needed in an emergency. Also there could be a scenario where PoW was utilised as a Helo carrier or in another role whilst QE was involved in a conflict

julian1
julian1
1 month ago
Reply to  James

UK defence budgets are bigger than both, Italian vessel is hardly a fleet carrier and both navies particularly the French spend long periods without a carrier available due to maintenance. Your comparison doesn’t really work.

Benjamin Rule
Benjamin Rule
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Italy has two carriers actually (Cavour and Garibaldi) and they are building a replacement for the latter.

When Charles de Gaulle was in for its last refit it was out of action for 18 months. While you might argue spending money on a second carrier is a waste of resource, surely spending money on a carrier capability that you can’t use at all for 18 months every few years is even more wasteful (and risky?)

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Benjamin Rule

I didn’t realise Italy had two carriers, my bad. And I take your point re being out of action for 18 months being risky. Perhaps having a new LPH similar to HMS Ocean would have been a cheaper alternative to a second QE class carrier – you can still operate F35B from there – look what the Japanese are doing. Plus surely for ‘smaller’ tasks it would be less risky to send the LPH as opposed to the QE class. I’d much rather see our surface fleet expanded – especially the world beating T45. I saw a picture of two… Read more »

TrevorH
TrevorH
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Italy and Japan are not blue water navies.
France would like to be, but closes down from that periodically.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  TrevorH

Indeed Japan is in fact having the debate at the moment about the need to produce larger carriers as they realise with Chinese hypersonic weaponry and capabilities the JDF would not actually have the range to defend their most outlying islands even from Okinawa. That’s why they are sticking the F35s on their Airborne defence destroyers or whatever they call them. Indeed the big question at the moment seems to be what they could call these new bigger carriers without making them seem like offensive weapons. Can’t remember what the favoured name is actually but it was one word added… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  James

The French would love to have 2 carriers indeed their plan has been to do just that but all sorts of unwanted events has prevented various plans over the years to do so. Their present carrier has been something of a disaster in this respect, years later, nuclear safety fears, lack of reliability and running costs have done much to actually undermine their ability to provide a second. It’s also shown that with a carrier often out of service a second is pretty vital to maintain capability. Indeed I read only a few months back how their were concerns in… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan

F35 numbers are going to increase. Next year 33 F35B’s will have been delivered. Although USMC deployments will be common for a few years to come. We won’t be reliant on them to fill our decks. Having both vessels at sea proves we do have the crews available, something many thought we couldn’t do.

Richard B
Richard B
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan

Hugely positive to see both ships at sea, although realistically this will rarely happen in the future – and nor should it. The goal from end-2022 will be to have one carrier operational and deployable, whilst the other recovers/refits/trains. The rule of thumb is that you need three ships to keep one deployed, but the RN has only two QEC so husbanding effort in order to preserve a surge operational capability is going be key. Also, they are going to have to last 50 years(!). QE will be “5” this year and its essential not to put ‘miles on clock’… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan

A maiden deployment and we “rely” on the USMC.

Should QEC remain alongside until the first 48 are delivered? Meanwhile there can be experience gained such deployments such as this, interoperability practised and relationships made.

My comments are in no way mindless either, just common sense.

captain p wash
captain p wash
1 month ago

It’s not that though is it mate….. It’s not having the quantity we would all like. 138 was always the total and It’s looking likely to be 90 shy of that, Can’t really see why the concerned among us are having the stick waved at us to be honest. Two State of the Art Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers that were designed and built over nearly Two decades and we have 8 F35B’s embarked out of what is it ? 24 delivered so far ? We all question the “Built for but not with” statements but this really is pushing it… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Evening mate. I suspect it will be around 60 short, and the UK will end up with 60 to 70 Bs. No one’s waving any sticks mate. There needs to be a balance between picking out the positives with the negatives and so often it’s endless gripes by some about only 8 jets or anything that vsn be nitpicked when the reasons are known. Give it to 2023 which was always the plan and it will be more. Nobody hates cuts more than me, I was a very sad person in 2010, but there has to be balance. I believe… Read more »

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago

The sad fact is, we could, and should have put 10 x F35B on board to match US contingent on QEs IOC. The USMC will be aboard our carriers for years to come, and very welcome they are too.

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
1 month ago

All very Fair mate but it was just another viewpoint which is shared by many. What I would hate to see is our little group being Hounded in the SCS by a very much larger number of PLAN Ships, bearing in mind they have at least 100 modern Frigates and Destroyers some 3000 plus Aircraft and a very long advanced warning of the groups intended route. Again though, It’s just my concern that’s all. Have a great Weekend mate, We’re off camping this weekend again, South Coast this time.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

Morning Captain. Are you concerned there might be a “Pearl Harbour” type incident with China launching an unprovoked attack? If so, why would China do that? I would bet there will be Chinese submarines, MPA, ELINT and SIGINT vessels, and possibly jets watching the group just as NATO watch potential adversaries vessels and aircraft. Duncan was hounded by, was it 17 Migs off Crimea? They were lucky to not be in a war situation they’d have been blasted from the sky. I don’t rate China’s combat skills much higher personally, as they don’t have any. The alternative is to back… Read more »

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
1 month ago

No I’m not suggesting anything of the sort mate…. I believe BJ deliberately held back from certain wording recently together with the careful avoidance of the Taiwan Straits………..What I am suggesting is a Massive Photographic Propaganda Coup for China if they chose to Escort us on our way with some of or many of their own Ships and Aircraft….. Sorry mate I have a very active mind and like to come up with different scenarios rather than just assume what is as yet, unknown. I don’t have any issue with being wrong, I’m just giving an interesting alternative to the… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Captain P Wash
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

Right, I’m with you.

That would actually be awesome to see!

I know you do, T32 with C&T spring to mind!

Never change mate.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  captain p wash

Only 21 delivered, 3 test planes in the USA.

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Which makes 24 ! ….. If you look at the Typhoon numbers and compare the original intended order to what we actually have now, I guess It’s all very similar sadly.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

No mate, Meirion means 18 delivered to the UK as the embryo of the F35 force plus the 3 earlier test aircraft remaining in the US as 17 OEU Squadron.

Yes, Typhoon was 250, an RAF yearly magazine I have from the early 80s had them replacing the Phantoms and the last of the Jaguars, with Lightning already withdrawn. Never turns out that way with cuts and the many decades these programmes take. No wonder the RAF RCO was formed.

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
1 month ago

From 250 to 232 Typhoons from memory but what is it now ? 100…. I stand corrected on the F35 numbers, we actually have less than I thought then.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

Unsure Captain. I myself am learning to concentrate on deployable squadrons and actual capability regards assets. I thought with last of the GR4s we had around 200 fast jets. Now maybe 150 modern jets once initial 48 F35 are up and running and the Tranche1 Typhoons go.

I’d like more of course. Need an up lift in people to operate them first as the RAF can field only 8 front line fast jet squadrons at present. I’d imagine UCAV will in time provide the extra bulk.

Alan
Alan
1 month ago

Relying on other nations for defence is a perennial mistake made generation after generation with the lessons re-learned and lost several times even in the 300 years of Britain’s time as a military power. Nobody suggested that QE should remain alongside until she has her full compliment of F35. That’s, frankly, a silly thing to say. If one can afford to build carriers, one has to budget for equipping them adequately, escorting them safely and manning them properly. If that cannot be achieved safely and independently that fact should be accepted with magnanimity and the funds invested elsewhere. Thousands of… Read more »

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan

Alan, keep up. The reason for the slow buy rate of F35’s is because of the delay in the next software upgrade and the lack of sign-off for FRP. This is sensible decision otherwise the more you buy the more you have to spend on software upgrades.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Exactly the point.

We learn to use QEC with USMC jets. That are happy to help us and help themselves at the same time.

Then we buy our own jets of the useful block and are not hammered by nutty upgrade costs.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan

Evening Alan.

I know nobody suggested it. But the fact remains that is the number now and the ship is ready to deploy, suggesting what I said, with some sarcasm, seems one way to address the criticism. We go with what we have now or not all, meaning QEC sits in Pompey.

I believe the ship is protected and manned, both carriers have a full crew I believe.

As for your wider criticisms of HMG regards defence since 1991 I’m in full agreement.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan

In fairness, relying on other nations when it comes to defence is widespread with all nations. It’s a foundation of Nato. Even a superpower like the US was happy to have the support of allies when it came to campaigns in Afghanistan, Iraq etc. Sure, much of it was political or diplomatic in nature and the US alone could have handled the warfighting aspect, but the fact remains, if things become kinetic, nations militaries will look for support, direct or indirect from other friendly nations. It’s not really mindless to point out that there are UK F35’s on board, perhaps… Read more »

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan

A large consideration for the delay is awaiting F35 versions with software / systems that enables UK IP weapons. No point buying F35 now that have to be upgraded in a few years.

The Artist Formerly Known as Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly Known as Los Pollos Chicken
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan

What do you need for war? How many F35? the RN had less than 30 harriers between Hermes and Invincible during a let me see now what do you call it? Oh yes a war . So tell the room how many ? I think your a wee bit confused with the wrong century this is 2021 not 1941 don’t need decks with 70 Gloster Gladiators. it’s amazing the negativity in here I mean by this websites very nature it provides information in its articles that is almost exclusively positive news . I could understand it if every article was… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago

Well said mate 🇬🇧

OldSchool
OldSchool
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan

Oh I don’t hear the USMC complaining – they know how good the QE’s are to operate from and in a ‘big’ war they would form an important part of a US lead carrier battlegroup with USN being glad to have us!

Stephen Ball
Stephen Ball
1 month ago

Learning drill’s and skill’s, find our fault’s and ally fault’s before we remedy them spring’s to mind.

John Pattullo
John Pattullo
1 month ago

hope we get to see her and lizzy’s battle group together would make for an impressive photo op 🙂

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  John Pattullo

Soon. 😉

John Pattullo
John Pattullo
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

hopefully – both at sea and not that far apart 🙂

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  John Pattullo

Who or what is ‘Lizzy’?

John Pattullo
John Pattullo
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

big lizzy? HMS Queen Elizabeth

TrevorH
TrevorH
1 month ago

The South West Coast of what?

Would that be “England”?

michael
michael
1 month ago

In regards to the number of F35’s that will eventually be ordered, the honest answer is that no one yet knows. Perhaps a couple of our posters, making speculative statements and ill informed remarks should keep up to date. The powers that be are obviously looking at the long game, and rightly so..After ten long years we need to build up our capability gradually, and our American friends have been immensly helpfull in getting us this far. You do not build up this sort of capability overnight. The Chinese may think otherwise but I wonder how their crew training, logistics.… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago

Other aircraft using HMS Prince of Wales this week were:

40th Anni Chinny on PoW.png