The Aircraft Carrier Alliance have provided a status update regarding the sea trials of new carrier HMS Prince of Wales.
The builders say that HMS Prince of Wales had her first taste of rough seas as she began her second fortnight of trials.
“Among the first tests the 65,000-tonne warship faced on her return to open water was handling in rough weather: the 920ft-long carrier faced a Sea State 6 (waves up to 20ft high), but carved through them relatively untroubled.”
Following one of her planned stops in the Scottish port of Invergordon to re-fuel and store the ship, HMS Prince of Wales has since returned to the North Sea to resume her sea trials programme.
“The ship has already achieved a top speed of 25 knots as her machinery and propulsion continues to be tested. The sea trials programme has been designed to test the full spectrum of her vast and complex systems including the monitoring of speed, manoeuvrability and power and propulsion.”
Commenting on the ships first couple of weeks of trials, Simon Lister, Aircraft Carrier Alliance Managing Director said in a release:
“HMS Prince of Wales is progressing well through her trials programme, this has been our first real opportunity to put the carrier’s outstanding capability to the test, demonstrating the best of British engineering and manufacturing. I am pleased to say that the ship is performing as expected and the industry and RN teams are working well together as we put the ship through her paces”.
According to the ACA, during the first fortnight of trials, the trials team have accomplished:
- The first helicopter landing (a Merlin Mk2 of 820 Naval Air Squadron);
- The first test of engines at full power (reaching a top speed of over 25kts);
- The first test of long-range radar (courtesy of two RAF Typhoons from Lossiemouth);
- The first port visit to take on supplies (fuel/stores) in Invergordon
- Completion of a further 200 compartments on-board, these have been accepted at sea by the MOD Delivery Acceptance Team. There are now just 450 compartments of the 3013 on-board to put the finishing touches to before their final acceptance inspection.
- Completion of the Forward Aircraft Lift dynamic load trial moving a 105 tonne test load through its full operating cycle.
- The first test of the ship’s rugby union side (against Ross Sutherland RFC, who play in the sixth tier of Scottish rugby) – a 20-20 draw with man-of-the-match AB Jack Rutherford bagging three tries.
- The first launch of a weather balloon by the meteorological team; it reached 70,000ft – more than 13 miles up… and 20,000ft higher than the ceiling of the ship’s F-35 Lightning jets;
- and the first test of the ship’s small-calibre guns.
Further resupplies in Invergordon are lined up before HMS Prince of Wales turns south for her future home of Portsmouth next month, followed by formal commissioning before the end of the year.