HMS Prince of Wales has been floated out of dry dock today.

The supercarrier was moved from No. 1 dock to J&K berth this morning.

A contact on-board told us earlier:

“All in all it was a quiet affair, albeit a bit stressful but everything went as it was supposed to. We certainly didn’t get the fanfare QE got for her float out. Presumably they want to avoid any sort of speculation in the media.”

HMS Prince of Wales is the sister ship of HMS Queen Elizabeth. The carrier will 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.

HMS Prince of Wales is currently on track for sea trials in mid-2019.

Quoted in Janes, Groom said:

“There is a further set of fixed-wing flying trials needed and HMS Prince of Wales has to carry them out. HMS Queen Elizabeth’s re-certification period in 2019 means we need HMS Prince of Wales then.”

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.

As stated in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, the government plan to enhance a Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier to support amphibious capability, that ship will be HMS Prince of Wales.

When discussing these capabilities while we were on board the Prince of Wales, we were told that modifications would include enhancing the vessels ability to host troops. This means that storage for additional marines and more equipment will be provided and some key corridors widened too.

Previous captain, Ian Groom, said:

“We optimised systems and learned how things could be improved both in terms of the systems and also the order in which you build things to make it more efficient and we’re drawing those lessons into Prince of Wales so that we can build it as swiftly as possible to the highest quality.

The reason we need two ships is to make sure that one is always available at very high readiness to provide choice to the government. That choice ranges from hard military power, delivering carrier strike, right down to humanitarian aid or promoting UK trade and industry.

20 COMMENTS

      • One of the best articles was from The National – the only newspaper that supports Independence for Scotland. Factual and informed. But spoilt by the headline:

        “… carrier with no aircraft …”

        Sigh.

        • Whomever creates this negativity is not doing Scotish shipbuilders and their workforces any favours. Cheap asides just to underline a hardline national attitude, doesn’t have quite the gravitas it once did with the Scotish people who are wiser about these pointless quips and tactics. I think the guys and girls at Rosyth are worth their weight in gold.

        • >factual and informed
          >thinks Scotland would be better off without England propping it up to the tune of tens of billions of pounds per year

        • more odious whinging from jocks who took so long to build . you don’t hear any thanks for the work and jobs which came as a bonus to getting the contracts. typicalS.N.P spin

  1. Well they said she’d be floated out by the end of the year and she has. The anti-RN media will be savage the timetable was kept to … but wait, a barnacle, it’s a billion pound disaster!

  2. Excellent news and the carrier alliance has done really well for the UK.

    I do hope we can have a similar set up to deliver the fleet requirements over the next 50 years as we really do need 3 major vessels p.a. to maintain a 75-80 major vessel fleet which is what we should be aiming for (inc. Subs, RFA etc.)

    • the carrier alliance have don what they do best, deliver an overpriced poorly designed bottomless wedge of £ for the fat cats

  3. Very nice that the ship has left drydock.
    The concern is what happens next to the workforce that got it this far.
    These two large ships are moving through the industry like deer through a python, leaving starvation in their wake.
    What are the follow on programs that will keep these resources productively employed?
    Or are we waiting for an order for a couple more from China?

  4. Great news, well done those involved.

    Dreadful diagram though, a random scatter of markers with no labels or key or explanation. It’s useless without labels. Only thing I recognise for certain is the dock yard, but I learnt that from Google Earth when the QE was assembled there.

  5. Another Aircraft Carrier for the aircraft,
    1. We don’t have.
    2. Not likely to have enough of to justify 2 carriers.

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