HMS Prince of Wales 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 float out and to start 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.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Fantastic news and it is clear these guys have everything under control.

    It would be interesting how much we could decrease the cost of T26 or T31 if the volumes were right (say 13 and 25) and they could apply similar lessons learned.

    I know they are a lot of money (most of which is as a result of successive governments meddling), but I do think they are worth it, not least as they can show we are still a major player where engineering, design and large scale manufacturing is required.

    This alongside the Olympics, Crossrail and some of the recent railway station rebuilds is frankly generational stuff and I am very proud of our country and the people who bring this stuff to life.

    • We did good, now is time to keep going. CrossRail 2 will be good because of CrossRail 1.
      RoI margins however on T26/31 will be nowhere as big as in the carriers.
      Cross Rail 2 is as big as CR1 so the incentive is there.

      • Sorry Lee – was just saying how good we can be if given the opportunity. The UK has historically had a poor record on key infrastructure and large scale projects, but I do see a change now because of the Olympics, Crossrail and the new forth crossing for that matter.

        We are starting to show engineering excellence again and I am quite excited by this, but also think the government need to get behind it.

        We led the world into the industrial revolution and I think we can do the same with the Cyber revolution that is yet to come – but is starting to form.

  2. Seeing is believing, but if stories in the papers this morning are true then the new defence secretary has apparently told the treasury to Foxtrot-Oscar on mothballing the two amphibious ships and culling marine numbers. Apparently he is even trying to wrestle another 2 billion out of them for the defence budget.

    I’ll wait and see, but this sounds slightly promising.

    • Afternoon all
      Like I said in an earlier post, when the Sec Def of the US comes to town and recites 7 battles as important examples of where when we work together we will be victorious.
      Those 7 battles had one thing in common. I would suggest that was not lost on the VCDS and others. If the UK wants to stay in the game, we have to make sure our best players are available.
      Gen Mathis was a US Marine by the way.
      The US JCDS Gen Dunford is a US Marine.

      • As ex army I can only say what I saw – the RM’s are the best force not just because they are fit, but because they seem to be more of a thinking soldier.

        They are a very impressive bunch and something this country should do everything to not only maintain but expand. It is crazy that you keep reducing your elite forces to protect lesser forces.

        Simple really

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