Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has announced that HMS Prince of Wales will be officially named at a ceremony in Rosyth on the 8th of September 2017.

The announcement was made during a visit to HMS Queen Elizabeth at sea.

According to an ACA press release:

“The Defence Secretary landed by Merlin helicopter on the deck of the new aircraft carrier HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH, which is currently on sea trials off the coast of Scotland. He met with members of the crew and thanked them for their contribution to UK defence.”

While addressing the Ship’s Company, Sir Michael Fallon said:

“Our carrier programme is a clear demonstration of British power and commitment to our global standing. With two aircraft carriers we will have one available at all times, providing a world-class carrier strike capability. They offer a prodigious promise to future generations of our determination to continue fronting up to aggression for years to come.

“The magnificent HMS Queen Elizabeth provides us with power on a scale we have never seen before. Protecting us for the next half a century, she will be a highly versatile and potent force, capable of both humanitarian and disaster relief and high-end war fighting.”

53 COMMENTS

  1. An imposing sight and great to see! Hopefully the lessons learned from QE will mean that we won’t have to wait another 3yrs before she begins her sea trials.

    • Not happening David, every single mistake that was made on QEC is repeated on PW. The explanation is: “It is too expensive to rework the drawings” So the same old story. Guys are doing the wrong jobs knowingly just because it is in the contract. If they don’t do it, they don’t get paid. Of course as soon as they are done and the QC “mark” them as wrong, the guys strip the job down and “provide” fix… The money just go around and around.
      Perhaps you will call this BS, however just find someone that is working in the yard….anyone and they will tell you the same.
      If you not in the yard you will never believe what is going on there. Some of the reality is hard to comprehend. As I’ve written above, talk to people who are working there and hear all the stories for yourself. The keyboard warriors here will tell you anything but I don’t think that anyone of them is actually been in the yard to see with their own eyes.
      The PW will not be ready for sea trials for at least another 24/28 months minimum.

      • Having done a few refits in Rosyth that is no surprise to hear.
        It was bad enough when it went from a Royal to a Babcock yard and it looks like nothing has changed except the name.

        • Honestly, I’ve spoken to a few “old timers” with 20+ years in the yard and everyone says that is getting worst. Everyone of them is pushing hard for voluntary redundancy or early pension, is that bad.

      • Not sure if that’s accurate information mate I have a good friend who works at rosyth for Babcock who said they are about 8 weeks ahead of schedule on POW. I suppose we will have to wait and see

      • Sad new indeed. Is it any wonder the government ordered the wave class tankers to be built in korea. Likely recieved them for half the price in half the time frame.

  2. This picture was taken a few weeks ago, before the covers were taken off the deck of HMS QE.

    Hopefully it will be even more shipshape by the 8th September??!!!!!

    • I am sorry Rob but you are 100% wrong.
      This photo is taken last year (2016) Right now the Prince of Wales flight deck is covered with scaffolding, not to mention that if you look at the right side of the photo you can clearly see (between the ship and the Goliath crane) QEC with her painters tents on flight deck siting in the basin.
      Just saying lol

      • I agree that my statement was wrong. However, my central point is correct. The picture is misleading. As we have both stated, you can see QEC docked in the basin with her flight deck covered.

        Living in Hertfordshire I do not have have easy access to Rosyth!!

        Time, I think, for UKDJ to be a little more careful about how they explain the context of why and when photos were taken.

        My statement would have been better if there was the addition of *must have at least been* in the first sentence.

        Rob

        • No harm intended Rob, I was just qualifying.
          Just to make it clear by what I can see on QEC this photo was taken perhaps between June and August last year. I can see the tent on the aft end and the HAKI tent along the aft port side of QEC, they both went down about September 2016.
          Be well
          Audi

  3. Why prince of Wales the last one did not last long,should be a better name,my choice RODNEY. at least she sunk something.

  4. Will Prince of Wales only sail when Queen Elizabeth is in refit? I can’t imagine having enough F35s and escorts for two carrier battle groups.

      • Hi Audi. Enjoy reading your comments on tech details.

        Wont the Ocean crew go to POW?
        I think there was a recent announcement on the readiness of the second carrier which would not be as mothballed as feared.
        Escorts if necessary could come from other NATO nations. One must not think constantly
        of a stand alone situation like the Falklands.
        The shortage is in Merlin assets, with only 3 squadrons planned.
        I’m still relieved we have the two carriers rather than one.

        • The latest term for mothballed, seems to be alongside training ship and before that extended readiness. My guess this is what will happen to one of the two carriers at anyone time.

          • I think that is perfectly fine – we do not need to have 2 operational so long as one of them is available at all times. It should extend their useful lives too.

        • Hi Daniele Mandelli, Thank you. However I will not consider myself a leading expert lol. I am only a guy that spent the last 5 years working in the yard and QEC. I am still in the yard but involved with something different nowadays.
          The only opinion or point of view I can offer is from what I’ve seen with my own eyes including data, drawings, cost calculations, QC reports and so on.
          I understand that someone can see me as a “negative” in my views.
          I can assure you that I am not. I am immensely proud that I was part of QEC, however the way the whole project was and continue to be run is shameful. As a nation we need this two carriers, no question about it, but as the way they are delivered….it is a different matter.

  5. Lack of resourse to run to active carrier groups at the same time. I would have thought therefore tat we would be fitting the electro cat system to PoW. I know it will delay her for a couple of years and cast a few bob (given we are already spending billions on them anyway). surely when she is ready for active service in 2024 with the cat, she will allow QE to come in for a refit and new cat fitment (I understand she has been designed to able to have them retro fitted ? surely then the two carriers will be much more usable by a larger variety of aircraft from uk and other Nato countries. Am I wrong in this?

  6. I don’t think anyone can argue against it, since we do not have enough escorts to operate 2 decks and we could put all 48 f35’s on 1 carrier instead of splitting in half and really be in the same position.

    The question really will be how will the politicians spin it, to sound like we have 2 operational carriers.

  7. Steve / Rob
    Surely when ocean is paid off / sold they will need a amphibious Carrier Bulwark and
    HMS Albion cannot carry enough aircraft for a Amphibious carrier She will have to ready to embarking Royal Marines in case another Falklands or war breaks out If Lizzie is in the south china sea she will have to be crewed we should hang on to Ocean or buy another assault ship carrier and we cannot send this size ship in close to land for troop landings with no weapons

    • I assume the 2nd carrier will be at ‘extended readiness’ for scenarios like you outline, but in reality we do not have enough people to man both at the same time nor are there sufficient escorts to operate 2 carrier groups without the help of our allies.

      Agree with the need to replace Ocean but she has been sacrificed to crew the POW and release some budget. No sign of the MOD acknowledging that we need another assault ship let alone ordering one. That would require more funds from an already stretched defence budget with some rather large holes in it!

      • Gentlemen, If I may please…. From what “the word on the street” is, they will not be operational at the same time for all of the reasons that everyone above have mentioned.
        The idea is to have one operational Aircraft and the second one ready to go if the need arises. However from the conversations I personally had with ranking officers on QEC before she sailed away was: They do have skeleton crew to form a ship company for the PW but not 100% cover. I am not even going to discuss the shortage of planes. One other important and valuable information I can share, is the fact that as we stand today, there is not certainty that the flight deck of PW will be coated with TMS. So in non technical speak, it will not have the patches for the vertical landing. On QEC there are 4 areas that were covered using this so the planes can land without burning the deck.
        If you need details about TMS (Thermal metal spray) just check internet.
        So…..bottom line…… the PW “could be” Choppers only aircraft carrier…. for now anyway

        • I really hope the TMS story is not true, as this would be ultimately penny pinching, just how much can 4 coated areas cost, considering that they are fundamental for the carriers primary role of being a aircraft carrier.

          • How much…try about 1.2 mill for each….
            Is it true…lets see….The company that have done the job on QEC is …away. Monitor Coating are no longer in the yard…for now. American contractor company who supplied and build the TMS tents were told to go home…The company that was taking care of the environment inside the tents is not longer in the yard. They were told to pack and go home….
            The original plan for TMS to start on PW was….. June 2017…after that September…..the next one was “just” after the New Year….. In the mean time all the above company have packed their gear and moved away, out of the yard. None of them is here any longer…
            At this moment (as today) there is not a contractor ON SITE that have the knowledge, expertise or the gear to do the job.
            So Steve….is that sound like “not true” kind of story?

          • This is crazy penny pinching. £5m for all the coated areas and they’re trying to save that amount on a > £3bn ship and as a result make it unable to fulfill it’s primary purpose? I think I’m going to declare this as the single biggest piece of insanity in UK defence spending that I’ve ever heard.

            Out of interest Audi, on a technical matter … Is it just the designated vertical landing areas that are coated or is there also a bit of coating just at the entry to, and maybe also a bit of the way up, the ski jump?

            I thought I’d heard or read somewhere that there was a bit of coating near the ski jump as well because that is where the engines are on full thrust and vectored down a bit to get more lift on takeoff so also blasting a lot of heat onto the deck, especially at the point where the plane just gets to the foot of the ski ramp and the gradient forces the plane into a sort of mechanical auto-rotate which directs the already slightly downward-vectored thrust even more downwards, i.e. directly onto the deck/runway surface. Maybe I’m wrong on all that though and had seen/read bad info.

          • Hi Julian,
            Patch one (from the ski jump going aft) is next to the first Island. Bottom of the ski jump but to the left next to the island. Patches 2 and 3 are almost square dead on between the two islands on the centre line. Patch 3 finishes almost in line with the aft end of the aft island. Patch 4 is approximately about 10/12 meters after 3. When I say centre line I refer to the runaway line (black paint on the deck, running all the way from aft to the top of the ski jump)
            This is a different from centre line on the ship (just clarification)
            If you look at some of the photos from above on the flight deck you will notice that the runaway is slightly to the port site and not centre mass.
            The TMS coating is ONLY applied to the landing patches. The rest of the flight deck is non skid 3 components paint.
            Regarding thrust burning effect, not really an issue for the deck. On take off the plane is way to fast for the paint to get damaged. It is not enough time for it lol. Now…hoovering above the deck with thrusters pointed down is a whole different story. The TMS can withstand up to 1800C direct heat for up to I believe 3 minutes without any molecular structure defects, so not an issue for landing.
            I hope this answer your questions.

          • Hi Audi. It certainly does answer my question. Many thanks for the really detailed reply.

    • I have tried in the past to understand exactly what extended readiness means in regards to time frames for being brought out, if needed, but failed.

      I think the reality is we are not planning around the assumption of being able to operate alone anymore, and so we will bring the carrier and someone else will bring the LPH.

      If you consider a small conflict where America decides to remain out, then outside France we are the only ally that has a carrier available and part of the time we are the only one since France only has 1.

  8. What a joke. A bath tub navy in a vain attempt to play ‘Rule Britannia’ and celebrate some sort of post imperial greatness. Pathetic the lot of it. Better flog them off, which is inevitable ultimately, and buy a fleet of effective coastal patrol craft of the type being purchased by Ireland. What on earth is Britain doing sending ships to the Pacific? Leave it to the Pacific countries and face reality! No one is set to invade this country and the greatest threat faced is terrorism.

    • Love it. Keep going TH – if you want to waste your time with entertaining posts like that on a website full of pro-defence contributors then by all means!

      You do however completely miss the point. No one is set to invade or mess with us true, but that is in part due to our military and alliances!

      • Now you mention it Rob I’ve realised that I’m quite enjoying watching him/her waste their time shouting into the wind as well.

        Why TH? This is not an audience that you are going to convert. If anything you are helping me to see even more clearly how important our defence and power projection capabilities are. In a world where global policing via alliances is required at least we are one of the less pathetic countries in terms of taking a “let the USA do it all” attitude. It needs to be a collective effort and it is people who take the attitude that someone else should do it all who are pathetic.

  9. Defence cuts are coming. I believe in an affordable and sustainable defence programme properly tailored to the needs of a small island of the coast of Europe.

    The country is now a trillion and a half in debt and levels of personal debt are rising. All government departments need to be dramatically cut and yes, that includes overseas aid. We cannot pay enough tax money to sustain this level of spending.

    Could you run your household like this? No! Let’s face reality!

  10. As a retired serviceman, I agree with TH. For too long, we have struggled pretending to be something we are not. A more rational defence policy would be to do less, to do what is more relevant and to do it better. I witnessed lash up after lash up, improvisation and watched our allies laugh at us. For example, billions could be saved by dispensing with ‘son of Trident’. Big ships are big targets. As TH has said, a smaller patrol boat or powerful seaward defence boat (okay not the old Ford class although I have fond memories of them but a modern equivalent) would be more flexible, in line with manning levels and moreover, more affordable! I have written to my MP about such things and he is inclined to agree – and he is a Tory! In truth, we are set to lose one hell of a lot of security with Brexit!

    • I think Thomas is a slightly more moderate and potentially acceptable version of TH. I think he realises a change of persona was required!

  11. Assuming they don’t have a defense review in the meantime and sell off one of the carriers, i am guessing they will want a media story with a picture of both carriers next to each other with jets onboard. As such they need to properly finish her.

    • They have a while to do that though, at least 5 years, more I would assume before we have enough F35s for that photo shoot.

      • The lack of f35’s is going to be a real problem for many years to come. The public purse must be in real problems, if we can not afford to place a firm order on a reasonable number and the politicians are willing to take the huge media backlash from it.

        • A trillion and a half in debt. Bingo – you reckon the public purse is in real problems? Wake up and smell the coffee,

  12. I agree with the group, one carrier avalable at all times with the other at low readiness with a reduced crew.

    Forgot Helicopter carriers, it’s a role that’s going to be allowed to fade away, it also brings the long term future of the RM’s into some doubt, at least in its current guise.

  13. The RN is going to allow US aircraft use the QEII to make up numbers. There is a manning crisis in the Andrew. Chris and Rob – go back to reading your Victor comics!

  14. PS – yes the future of the Royals is under consideration. Don’t listen to what the MoD says. Listen to what it doesn’t say.

    Enjoying those Victor comics Clive and Rob. That’s about as close as you will ever come to understanding defence realities.

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