The aircraft carrier is returning to the Portsmouth base for a brief logistics stop before returning to sea.
HMNB Portsmouth tweeted the following:
— HMNB Portsmouth (@HMNBPortsmouth) May 25, 2021
HMS Prince of Wales recently tested her three Phalanx guns as part of efforts to make the vessel operational.
We have begun testing our 3x Phalanx guns today. Last week our Weapon Engineers spent a little time re-aquainting themselves with the systems. #PWLSatSea#EngineeringUK #Engineering pic.twitter.com/LVspMCVPzD
— HMS Prince of Wales (@HMSPWLS) May 24, 2021
Phalanx CIWS is a rapid-fire, computer-controlled radar and 20mm Gatling gun system and is the Royal Navy’s primary defence for ships against the threat of anti-ship missiles.
According to a Royal Navy news release:
“The Portsmouth-based warship has spent much of her first fortnight back at sea in the relatively sheltered waters of Lyme Bay conducting aviation trials with the RAF and Commando Helicopter Force.
The ship’s company has changed substantially since she last sailed in the spring of 2020 – and since her flight deck last welcomed helicopters, so it’s been a mix of brushing up on old skills and new experiences for a good number of sailors.
Those on the upper deck were treated to the impressive sight of a unique RAF Chinook, proudly sporting a Union Jack tail to celebrate its 40th anniversary in UK service, touching down. The Boeing-built helicopter entered service with the air force in November 1980 and has seen action in every major conflict involving the nation’s armed forces since.”
After the much-publicised first encounter at sea with her big sister HMS Queen Elizabeth, regular training resumed with Merlin helicopters of 824 Naval Air Squadron making use of the carrier to practise refuelling skills.