At the end of last year, the builders started HMS Prince of Wales forward Gas Turbine Alternator for the first time, three years after it was first installed on the ship.

After months of preparation during static trials ensuring control and auxiliary systems were inspected and tested by a team of ACA engineers, made up of Royal Navy, Rolls Royce, General Electric and Babcock Commissioning, the turbine was signed off as ready to commence dynamic trial phase.

Image via the Aircraft Carrier Alliance.

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 release:

“Having been manufactured around 10 years ago, it was a big moment to start the engine for the first time! This was done in a controlled and methodical way and the team are now progressing through setting to work procedures to demonstrate that the GTA is performing as designed and ready to support the next phase of basin trials.

This is one of two engines that are fitted on board and can produce 36 Megawatts (around 50,000 horsepower) of power on to the High Voltage distribution system, this is enough to power an average of 36,000 homes or 450,000 eighty watt light bulbs. Based on the Rolls Royce Trent 800, which were used for the Boeing 777, the MT30 is the world’s most power-dense Marine Gas Turbine, a key feature for Naval Ships where high power occupying minimum space is essential.”

CPOET(ME)(ML) Horsepool said:

“This is one of the proudest moments of my career. It has been an enjoyable experience to be part of the team that has successfully achieved the first run of a GT on board after months of work.”

Simon Lister, ACA Managing Director, said:

“The first start of the Gas Turbine along with the recent Diesel Generator first starts is a major step forward towards sea trials later this year. It is fantastic to see the ship coming to life on her own systems and I thank the teams for their continued hard work.”

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Julian
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Julian

“… this is enough to power an average of 36,000 homes or 450,000 eighty watt light bulbs.”

Were 80W lightbulbs ever a thing? Is it a common industrial/naval/military spec? In my years of buying light bulbs for my home, before everything went LED, I seem to remember that they went 20W, 40W, 60W, 100W. Perhaps I was never adventurous enough in exploring my light bulb choices.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i had a mate we called 40 watt on account of him being a bit dim

Ian
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Ian

I worked in a place who’s storeman they called Egburt. On my first day, he told me off for calling him by his first name, I later found out that it stood for Egg-But no Bacon…a derogatory term for having something missing.

geoff
Guest
geoff

I knew a lad we called 100 watt on account of him being so bright : )
OK-I’m lying….

Trevor G
Guest
Trevor G

I think it must be more fake news. My understanding with the real PR stuff is that it is mandatory to bring football pitches and London buses into the picture.

John Easom
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John Easom

Yeah… and they have to say how many Prince of Wales’s will fit into Wales…?

Spyinthesky
Guest
Spyinthesky

Was he a twin by chance, that might account for the 80W bulbs.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

we had one called 30 watt and he was as dim as a soggy candle

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

If you cross Breed two 40w Bulbs, You get an 80w one. The real trick Is knowing If It will be a Bayonet fit or Screw In. It’s all to do with the right Soil. Hope this helps.
Oh and, Has It Really been 10 years ?

Lusty
Guest

Wonder how many of those nifty hybrid double-decker busses it could power?

Steve Taylor
Guest

I saw what you did there…..

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

looking forward to a photo of them both at sea together

Steve Taylor
Guest

They are bound to arrange it. I have only ever seen one photo of Invincible, Ark Royal, and Lusty under steam together.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

We don’t usually go off on a tangent this early in a thread Julian!

Now that they have realised the QE class require a larger crew, (a frigate worth), I bet the team in charge of crewing up the Navy is sweating!

Still, can’t wait to see her underway….

Steve Taylor
Guest

Back in the day of the old proper carriers manning them would suck up entire classes of new entries from Raleigh and the old schools….

I always thought the crew size seemed too small, or should that be too optimistic for ships of their size and complexity. When I see words like ‘automation’ now I see it as code for ‘manning levels brought down to a minimum let’s hope nothing goes south’. I bet the damage control planning was interesting.

Robert Blay
Guest

Who has said it needs a bigger crew?

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

It became apparent during her work up Robert.

Robert Blay
Guest

Do you serve on the vessle?

Terryfried
Guest
Terryfried

What makes you think they need more crew?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

posts in the local situations(jobs) vacant

Herodotus
Guest

Was anyone really surprised that QE would need a larger crew. What’s the betting that further crew will be necessary when it goes into a combat situation!

Steve Taylor
Guest

No. See above. 🙂

It is interesting to compare RN manning with USN manning. They have all the Gucci automation and still have jobs split between multiple bodies which in an RN ship would be done by one person. Multi-skill and multi-tasking or shallow knowledge and too much work…….?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

u.s ship crew size is notorious for being high, the crew sizes for say a ticonderoga is just crazy.

P tattersall
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P tattersall

More bad news for all those russian trolls on this site ..

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Which Ones ?

P tattersall
Guest
P tattersall

Which ones behave captain any new ships or planes they are out in force moaning ..We’ve just announced the F35 battle ready the 2nd best combat plane on the planet only behind the F22_and yet they moan it’s the same ppl who only a few years ago said the F35 would never get of the ground plenty on this site .. The same ppl who said big Lizzie would never sail they really are pathetic obvious trolls the same trolls who said Asute would never enter service . The same trolls who basically moan about any good news

David
Guest
David

Stop moaning about people moaning! I like the Russian trolls, theyre fun to play with.

Ivan Kalot
Guest
Ivan Kalot

Theys Rusky Scrum Invades Of ower Cuntry wiv the biggy Deseption of Internals beeng heer for Peeples of Ukrane

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

“Behave”, Yes OK, but, Are you actually saying that anyone on here who Bemoans the lack of Ships, Aircraft, Equipment and everything else Is Russian and a Troll ? I’m not convinced mate. Who exactly are you calling out ? I’m Curious.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the spelling on this site is an embarrassment!!

dave12
Guest
dave12

Well Ivan Kalot is a Rusky troll thats for sure check out that spelling lol.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Since when has being opinionated, obtuse and irritating on line made someone a Russian troll…..that’s just how most people are in either large or small doses when given an unlimited, consequence free, anonymous way to say what they want, long may it last.

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

I resemble those remarks !!!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i thought we were talking about those toys, oh i get it russian dolls!

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

does this mean i don’t have to live under a bridge eating lambs anymore?

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

Good news I also can’t wait to see her on the high seas, 20-25% faster build time too, that is a nice increase. Hopefully the solid support ships will be assembled in Rosyth with blocks built around the U.K., the same as these carriers. Rolls Royce who makes the gas turbine (and aero engines) are a successful British company we should all be proud of and support too.

Andy
Guest
Andy

When the Prince of Sales is completed what will the workforce do? I would like them to build the R F A solid support ships, however these have gone out to international tender, although a UK consortium is also in the frame. To help get them constructed in the UK sign this petition
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/235377
Or write to your MP

expat
Guest
expat

A contract for the SSS with a UK consortium could be done to reflect the expect efficiency improvements. Ship 2 15% cheaper Ship 3 25%, this is what I’d prefer to ensure the NSBS gives us a competitive industry long term. Same should be done for the T31s.

I do wonder if we would had seen these improvements if the Government had not renegotiated the contract to split overruns 50-50.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

nsbs more fake news

OOA
Guest
OOA

Good stuff. Great to see.

But 10 years from the turbo alternator being manufactured to starting hot commissioing highlights that you really need to crack on with these type of projects or you find yourself managing obsolescence before it’s even in service. T26 programme should take heed (but won’t).

Does that count as moaning?

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Only If you are Russian and a Troll, Lol.

JohnH
Guest
JohnH

Looking back I see that QE build, from floating in the first blocks in May 2012, to departure for sea trials in June 2017, took 61 months. Compare this with PoW, where blocks arrived in October 2014 and sea trials are now set to commence by November 2019, which is 61 months. It was said that the PoW blocks arrived some 20% more complete, and coupled with lessons learned from the first build would lead to a shorter build time by around 8 months. This seems not to have been the case. Further I notice that not long ago PoW… Read more »

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

John H, HMS Queen Elizabeth was laid down In July 2009 and Launched in July 2014. HMS Prince of Wales was Laid down in May 2011 and Launched In December 2017. As for being 20% more complete well OK, I’ll admit to not being In the Loop on that but, I’m really glad to hear It. To have Both of These Amazing Ships In the Water and Working Up Is absolutely Brilliant, Let’s just Suck It Up and Bask In the Glory. Rule Britannia.!

Julian
Guest
Julian

Yeah. Whenever I hear news of PoW, and this would even be the case if it were to be negative news such as some sort of slippage, I bask in the fact that she didn’t get the chop during the SDSR where it was muted as a possibility (Gordon Brown’s government?) and that we are getting 2 carriers. Had a previous government taken the decision to axe the second carrier we would be looking at a very different situation where the UK would be unable to continuously deploy a carrier. Having two carriers is such a step change from having… Read more »

Callum
Guest

I have to agree. The Labour governments oversaw a LOT of poor defence procurement, and the QECs definitely suffered from that a bit, but making the UK contractually obligated to finish the carriers was possibly the best decision they made. Interesting little tidbit: Tony Blair actually got us into an early EU combined navy. The plan was for a combined force based around 3 fleet carriers, 2 British and 1 French, with other nations providing most of the escorts. Suddenly the numerous cuts of relatively young frigates in ’99 and the lack of urgency in the T26 programme make sense…… Read more »

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Callum, One In, One Out, With a Fantastic historic Meeting somewhere In between. Where Ever It is, I’ll try to be there. Two Carriers, 6 Escorts, Two Astutes, A flightdeck full of F35’s, Merlin’s, Chinook’s, Wildcat’s. Wow, what a Sight that would be and what a message that would send. ( I know, I’m Dreaming.)

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

tony blair should be in jail

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Julian – to my memory it certainly wasn’t Gordon Browns Government that flirted with the idea of losing one of the Carriers,it was the subsequent 2010 Coalition that swung the Axe on Defence (predictable as it was with the Financial situation at the time) through SDSR 2010,it wasn’t till SDSR 2015 that the future of HMS POW became clearer.

Ian
Guest

Cameron was going to cancel them. Heard that direct from a cabinet minister who nearly resigned when he changed his mind to keep them. Hammond & May don’t believe in the carrier project though. Will be interesting…

Helions
Guest
Helions

Wasn’t there a story a few months ago that referenced LHA type upgrades being made to the PoW? Could that have set back the schedule a bit?

Cheers!

Trevor G
Guest
Trevor G

With PoW, I believe there were some glitches with the design of the new quadruple 14″ turrets which took some time to sort out. (Sorry)

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

a lot, there would have been a heck of a lot of redesign needed and changes to crews with more wafu’s.

Helions
Guest
Helions

Hate to have been those civilian chaps trying to get the turrets moving while the ship was fighting the Bismark… 😀 THAT’S what’s known as an “exciting” job… 😀

Cheers!

Helions
Guest
Helions

Why was there never an HMS KGVI? I understand he asked the KGV class to be named after his father instead of himself as was tradition for the newest capital ship to be named after the current monarch. Despite the fact the current (and past) QE is named after the Tudor first you would think that there would be one to honor Britain’s wartime king? I would think a QE and a KGVI would have been good names for the CVFs. “Why do we stay at Buckingham Palace? Because we wouldn’t be able to look the East End in the… Read more »

Mr Bell
Guest

It does then the question if the build is going 20-25% quicker does that equate to any savings off the cost? Also could we build a 3rd QEC and get same or even better efficiency?

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Nah two is enough.

We’d need to crew it and we lack the aircraft to put on two let alone 3.

If money was spare I’d go for extra SSN, RFA, escorts in that order.

Richard
Guest
Richard

If we need more aircraft, then I believe Turkey and Taiwan were interested in our old Harriers. The US has already paid for their modernisation.

The money that we’d save on fewer/slower F35 purchases could be spent on more ships.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

maybe, i go for repurchasing the type 22’s from romania, chile and brazil putting artisan,and sea ceptor on them and designating them as destroyers. plus THEY’RE ALREADY BUILT.

Julian
Guest
Julian

I definitely agree with that Daniele. In the hugely hypothetical situation of HMG considering building a third QEC I’d also include a couple of LPH as preferable to a third carrier with maybe even a bit of cash to spare. I’m not saying that I’d prioritise it above anything in your list, just saying that it would be another thing that would be preferable to a third carrier in my view. Although PoW is getting mods to allow her to fulfil an LPH role I think it would be preferable if she never had to, at least vs a peer… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Agree to all of that Julian.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the first aircraft carriers were adapted merchants, maybe a bay class with the superstructure removed, and a full deck fitted would be faster and cheaper

Trevor G
Guest
Trevor G

Interesting question. Sometimes its obvious, so I wouldn’t ever expect an HMS King Edward VIII, but the workings of the naming committee are obscure. For the CVs I would have liked to see Ark Royal + Eagle. I remember the original carrier project in the sixties but don’t recall what names were bandied about then. Type 26 naming i.e. following cruiser names makes sense to me.

D. Hull
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D. Hull

Audacious class I think ?. Jack tar

Jack tar
Guest
Jack tar

Audacious class carriers I think ?

Ron
Guest
Ron

Trevor G, If my referencing system is correct the names for the first two CVA01 and CVA02 carriers were meant to be Queen Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh. A planned CVA03 was not at that point named.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

when charles, if he doesn’t fall off the perch before his mum comes to the throne would we get a h.m.s big ears?

Jack tar
Guest
Jack tar

Trevor, Audacious class I think ?.

Basil
Guest

morning. I don’t think there was ever sny intention to build a third QE. A rumour was circulated regarding a third vessel for the French, however this came to nothing and was officially quashed in 2010. PoW is ahead of build schedule in comparison to QE, however the comparison is artificial as it is taken as if they were built side by side, The actual build schedule factored in a 20% time saving, so all the construction targets are as they were planned. If anything there has been an intentional slowing in certain areas, this is fun to QE trials… Read more »

Basil
Guest

Sorry about typo’s, please can we have an edit facility?

Steve Taylor
Guest

Know. 🙂

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

lal !

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

we certainly need one

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Morning Basil, It wasn’t just a Rumour, The French were Active In the Design but pulled out. It would have been Interesting to see how the Program might have changed knowing the French Carrier would have (dare I mention this ? ) Cat’s and Trap’s. I also remember They would have probably gone the Nuclear Route. Might go and research this while my Hotpot’s Baking !

An Edit Facility would be great too but at least we can understand what you are Typing, Unlike a certain Individual called Ivan.

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Wiki has a section on the PA2, It shows some of the Design Requirements including a 90 metre Steam Catapult, Angled Deck, Sylver Launcher for 16 Aster Missiles and one 20mm Gun. Nuclear power was considered at least twice but It was all cancelled by 2013 due to Costs.

Trevor G
Guest
Trevor G

Basil, Ron and I are talking about the original CVA project in the sixties to replace Ark Royal/Eagle/Victorious which was cancelled by the Wilson Government in 66 if I remember right. We at CL reckoned we were in with a chance although John Browns et al would probbly disagree. Designs finished up at around 60/65000 full load with cats & traps.

Basil
Guest

Hello Trevor g, yes I understand, CVA01 would have been an interesting vessel, I’m quite sure the aft Sea Dart launcher would had been quickly deleted from the build as at the time they built Bristol they found the launcher and associated loading mechanism needed far more space than initially thought and they would have had enough area defence with the eight planned Bristol class. For different reasons the forward mounted Exocet were deleted from the Invincible class prior to completion. In the early stages of ship design and marketing, the designers often try to satisfy as many interested parties… Read more »

Steve Taylor
Guest

The size of machinery needed for a magazine based missile system launcher was clearly visible in the B3 T42 when there was a flat starboard side where you could look up two decks right next to the Sea Dart magazine.

Trevor G
Guest
Trevor G

Interesting to read about the impact of the Sea Dart magazine on the designs. There were a number of studies around the time into double ended air defence destroyers which with associated guidance radars would have meant a pretty big ship even compared with Bristol and would certainly have beeb bigger than T45.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

I’m sure as a result HMS Sheffield was shrunk if you like due to cost saving,it was the Smallest Hull-Form that could accommodate the Sea Dart System (rectified in Batch3) wasn’t it also installed back to front compared to HMS Bristol ?

Steve Taylor
Guest

Yes. The launcher was aft in the Bristol. But if you think about it this is the logical place for it not for’ard.

There should have been 20 plus T42 all built to a design similar to B3. It was false economy to slice the bow off the design as the launcher for Sea Dart was liable to malfunction due to water and salt.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

and sea wolf. instead of the painfully slow sea dart reload

Steve Taylor
Guest

Further to below………. T42 represented the minimum need for AAW at the time for a navy centred on mid-ocean ASW work where the air threat was more than likely to be an MPA or ‘slowing moving’ jet bombers in penny packets looking for targets of opportunity. Taking an extra hull sonar and ASW helicopter to see was probably just as important as SeaDart itself as the RN sort to maximise hull numbers against its primary threat the Soviet submarine fleet. Britsol was designed to keep escort with a carrier and it would have depended on the carrier’s and frigate’s for… Read more »

Steve Taylor
Guest

Yes. There were lots of design studies. It isn’t so much fitting in the missile launcher and magazines. The problem is placing the fire control radars and top weight.

Trevor G
Guest
Trevor G

Yes, plus where does the helicopter go? At least one of the design projects (Type 43) has the helicopter pad amidships between the deckhouses/funnels, not sure if they consulted with the pilots on that one…

Steve Taylor
Guest

See my comment above……..somewhere……. 🙂

Of course the other option is to do as the Russians / Soviet like to do and place the hangar below decks. That clears arcs but does nothing length because obviously magazine extend well below the ‘weather deck’……….
Have a look at our Tribals where the hangar floor was an elevator. Another one, and a favourite of mine, are the USN Virginia class CGN’s.

expat
Guest
expat

Your only seeing this sort of improvement because the contract was renegotiate to split overruns 50-50, if the MoD had to pick up 100% of the overrun then my bet is PoW would be delivered late.

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Basil and anyone Else who might be Interested/Able to post the link. There Is a Very Detailed and Interesting Link on Wiki, If you search CVA-01. Then, If you Scroll down, you will find “A comprehensive essay on the History of the CVA-01. Design and related Issues”.

It’s well worth a look, You will see that 3 CVA’s were at one point proposed and a mention of 5 also.

There Is a whole load of other stuff too, Including TSR2, The Supersonic Harrier and a scaled down TSR2.

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Nope, don’t thank me !!!!!

Julian
Guest
Julian

Captain – posting a link is simply a matter of copying and pasting the text for the web address that you want to link to – no special formatting or tags in your post are required. Open the web page you want to link to in another browser tab, left-click in the address bar contents for that page, right-click and select “copy” to copy the text of the web address into the clipboard and then go back to your post and type control-v to paste that text into your post. That’s it. One thing though is to not post more… Read more »

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Ha, Thanks again !!!

Basil
Guest

oh I will, thank you

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Great, Good to see you read It and educated yourself.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Whatever anyone says about British industry, producing to brand new 80k ton carriers in 8 years for 6 billon pounds is better than any other nation in the carrier game has manged this century.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

That will be two no to…..

Trevor G
Guest
Trevor G

Just been checking the David Brown book Rebuilding the Royal Navy re planned numbers for the CVA project. At inception of the requirement in 1960, 4 ships were intended (to replace I think 6) to be delivered between 1971/80. In 1963 this was reduced to 3 ships, primarily budgetary reasons. At one stage it was hoped that Australia would also order an additional 1.

Steve Taylor
Guest

The big shame was if we had the big carriers when the USSR collapsed we could have used RAFG’s budget as it were to equip the carriers with aircraft. After all it was toss up between having two ‘air forces abroad’ that caused CVA to be cancelled………..That’s why I think we should only purchase F35b……….

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

I think this article says a lot about where we are right now.
“Should HMS Queen Elizabeth be fitted with her own missile defences?”
https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/should-hms-queen-elizabeth-be-fitted-with-her-own-missile-defences/

Frank62
Guest
Frank62

Yes-Urgently. These are huge investments & we can neither always rely on allies lending us escorts nor our own tiny escort fleet(which could quickly be depleted by enemy action). Our likely opponents are fielding hypersonic long range anti-ship missiles to be launched in numbers to overwhelm carrier defences. It’s negligent in the extreme to deploy our carriers so poorly armed.

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Agreed Frank62

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Thanks for the interesting link CPW, had the CVF program gone ahead, then 3 ships would certainly have been called for. As for TSR2, well, I have studied that fascinating program for 30 years, in some detail. It was an extremely advanced and supremely capable design, that, had it gone ahead, it would have given Soviet planners sleepless nights thinking of ways to counter it for decades. Back in the 1960’s, through to the late 80s, a TSR2 flying at Mach 1 at 200 ft would have been almost impossible to stop… The reality of the situation is that by… Read more »