Aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales has left the Rosyth dockyard for the first time.

The UK Defence Journal has been told by the Ministry of Defence that HMS Prince of Wales will sit at anchor in the River Forth for around 2-7 days following departure from the dockyard to complete Initial Sea Safety Training.

Recently, the carrier reached an important milestone, conducting the first aviation serial from the carriers ops room.

According to a tweet on the HMS Prince of Wales twitter account, with the help of a DA-20 Falcon, the vessels crew tested their radars and important Air Traffic Control equipment which will be essential for conducting aviation at sea.

People I spoke to on-board the vessel on my last visit told me that building the ship 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.

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spyintheskyuk
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spyintheskyuk

Well that was very low key. Good to ‘see’ mind.

Andy P
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Andy P

The word on the street is that the ‘2 to 7 days’ was because if it didn’t leave there were financial penalties for the dockyard and it might end up coming back in. We’ll see how it goes, having taken boats out of build and refit its safe to assume that there will be things that won’t be working, its how it goes.

DaveyB
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DaveyB

It was on Sky news last night. The deck’s edges were crowded with people. It was good to see, still amazed something that large could squeeze through those gates with scraping the bottom or sides!

Nick C
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Nick C

Interesting that there was no mention of it on the BBC news down south, I suppose something like an aircraft carrier doesn’t fit the BBC agenda!

John Clark
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John Clark

Odd that Nick, one would assume the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation would be delighted to report on the arrival of the EU Navy’s potential future flag ship…..

Nick C
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Nick C

I suspect that they were all at John Humphrey’s leaving do?

maurice10
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maurice10

Now, this is the biggest ship the RN will operate being some thousands of ton heavier than QE. I wish all who sail in her the very best.

julian1
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julian1

why is that?

Tony
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Tony

I’m pretty sure it’s not, no idea what he’s talking about

maurice10
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maurice10

All I know is a U-Tube vid that said the POW would have an expanded role over QE, and that had resulted in an increase in weight, in order to achieve the changes? A number of 4 or 5,000 tons had been mentioned? I stand to be corrected if this has all been changed, as the build progressed.

julian1
Guest
julian1

I understand that weights may differ based on slightly different configuration or equipment, but 4/5,000 tons sounds excessive, its over 5% of displacement

maurice10
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maurice10

Yes, you are correct apparently it’s around 3,000 tons if, in fact, that is actually the final weight?

Chris J
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Chris J

The 3000 tons thing appears to have been lost in translation somewhere along the way. AFAIK PoW doesn’t weigh 3000 tons more than QE.

The confusion might have arisen from a press release that BAE put out during the build celebrating how quickly they were progressing with the build which stated something along the lines of the PoW build being 3000 tons ahead of QE at that particular stage of the build.

I’ll see if I can find the PR.

EDIT, Lusty beat me to it below.

Lusty
Guest
Lusty

I think you’re misunderstanding the wording of press releases.

If I understand your post correctly, you’re referring to a statement which said that POW was “4000 tonnes heavier”. This actually meant that POW was 4000 tonnes heavier than QE at the same point of construction, but not that she was 4000 tonnes heavier overall. This basically shows how the lessons learned from the construction of QE had helped to speed up the assembly process.

It should be remembered that POW has already had some modifications however, and will be the first to operate the bedford array.

Rob
Guest
Rob

I don’t think Prince of Wales is heavier but it is slightly different as it has been optimised for amphibious warfare with wider corridors and, I believe, more accommodation.

Let’s hope it all goes smoothly. What a ship!

Andy
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Andy

Wonderful idea use a 70,000 ton ship as a amphibious carrier , great blue sky thinking .

Spend 6.2 billion pounds on 2 carriers only to make one into a big target off a beach .

Andy P
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Andy P

Or (hopefully) have the capability to have one booted and spurred aircraft carrer year round while the other is in a maintenance period etc. If the second is available and there’s a worked up crew then why not use it. Apart from rare photo opportunities I doubt both will be at sea at the same time though.

Rob
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Rob

I agree but there you go. With the loss of Ocean the Boots need a helicopter deck. The best solution would be to replace Albion, Bulwark & Ocean with two Canberra Class LHDs – they have a dock, LCU’s, good troop capacity, helicopters & an F35 capable (with some adaptations needed) flight deck.

Never happen though.

Ian
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Ian

I was lead to believe that QE was nudging 70,000 on float out? Can’t recall were exactly I heard it.

Rfn_Weston
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Rfn_Weston

RN Grey always seems lighter than other Navies?

Blue Fuzz
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Blue Fuzz

From BBC News:

UK government minister for defence procurement, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said the new carriers gave Britain a “world-leading capability”. She said the new aircraft carrier was “effectively a floating airfield”

Well I’m dammed – POW a floating airfield – I’d never have guessed ??

Ian
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Ian

LOL…I wonder who told her?

Ron
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Ron

I thought it was to be the new national rugby stadium for Wales Daarn it. Good luck to the crew and I hope that the treasury keep their greedy hands of her.

crabfat
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crabfat

Off who – Anne-Marie Trevelyan?

Ron
Guest
Ron

crabfat, Seeing that the artilce is about HMS Prince of Wales, seeing that I wished the crew good luck in the trails I imagined that everyone would have understood that I was speaking about the carrier. Or is it that you do not understand convention when speaking or addressing a Royal Navy ship of war as she or her even if it has a mans name or title, for example all the Type 23s are Dukes but it is still she or her, or HMS King George V its still she or her. Unless someone has changed the convention due… Read more »

crabfat
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crabfat

It was a joke – but if it offended you, I apologise. I’m fully aware of the tradition of calling a ship she or her…

Ron
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Ron

Not offended so no need to apologise, I was just wondering if I had made a mistake in this PC world. Thanks anyway.

dan
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dan

It’s just too bad they don’t have enough F-35s for even 1 carrier. The USMC will be making up that difference till the Brits buy enough F-35s.

Steve Martin
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Steve Martin

Smart move considering the defect rate on early build F-35’s.

Lee1
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Lee1

Not only that but they are becoming cheaper per unit too.

Steve Martin
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Steve Martin

Possibly one of the only purchase rate decisions the MoD has got right in recent years. Still not convinced by the amount of jets though.

Boris Johnson
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Boris Johnson

No they won’t you idiot. The USMC are on a deployment to train (to be trained by) RN crews in F-35 naval operations. They already have enough for one carrier. Neither the “brits” nor the americans have bought enough yet.

Lusty
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Lusty

I thought that was relatively tame, considering she also said that they were “formula one ships”.

Frank62
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Frank62

So that’s what they’re for? I thought we were developing the worlds largest maritime ironing boards.

Richard
Guest
Richard

Great too see.
Hopefully there will be enough Sailors, Airman and Aircraft to make Her operational. I fear that due to the armed forces retention problems only one of the class will be fully operational. Maybe if the goverment brought back a good pension the retention issue would start to resolve itself.

Andy P
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Andy P

Its not just the pensions, that only really affects the boys in the pension trap, young folk don’t join up for a pension and don’t stay in after 4 years for the pension. The bigger problem is the casual disregard for those under them, when you know you’re being lied to being a prime example, sailing on a Monday when you know you’re not, sailing on the Tuesday when you know you’re not, if you have a family it isn’t easy on anyone. Fortunately a lot of the guys (and girls) have options and leave for better paying gigs, sadly,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

It’s already been stated by HMG both will be operational, with 1 always ready for use and the other in reserve, as a LPH, training vessel, whatever.

I thought the crew for POW was partially from Ocean.

As for aircraft, it has never been in the plan for 2 air groups of F35, Merlin, Crowsnest, and so on.

By 2023 with 24 F35, 12 Merlin for ASW, Merlin for ASCS, a det of Merlin HC4 for CSAR, and whatever else is added, the RN will have capability far beyond what we had in the Invincibles.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

True mate, we all are guilty of doing down our operational capability, but in comparison to the vast majority of our allies, we have capabilities that are second only to the yanks. Yes we don’t have many, but we can field a balanced and capable force, able to operate as a first tier player. Its just depth we are missing, and that my friend is something that will only become apparant to the powers that be when it’s to late. Cheers.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Cheers mate.

There are always reasons to be cheerful.

Nick C
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Nick C

I agree completely with your statement, things will look good for the photos, and for very short conflicts, but there is no depth to the number of aircraft, or the crews and maintainers. The FAA only has 30 Merlin HM2’s, by the time you have provided flights for the T45’s and T23’s , and a full slate for one carrier you have absolutely no spares at all, and you are probably using training aircraft as well. For the commando force you could put every operational Merlin 4 on board and still have acres of space free. I am afraid it… Read more »

Grubbie
Guest
Grubbie

“Balanced and capable”,-“depth we are missing “?
Yet more staggering insights.

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

All our operatives are busy, your call is important to us, please hold!

Grubbie
Guest
Grubbie

Which is it?Balanced and capable or lacking depth?

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

Please remain on hold, your call will be answered as soon as an operative is busy!

Grubbie
Guest
Grubbie

Not all there

Airborne
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Airborne

Please remain on hold, your call is important to us.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

Not True, one carrier will be deployed at sea, and 2nd carrier will be at port for either, maintenance with crew leave, or getting ready to be deployed with crew training, and for a future refit, one carrier will be available.

Grubbie
Guest
Grubbie

How many more times do I need to remind you about the rule of three?

Airborne
Guest
Airborne

A rule you have only read about, and never experienced. Thank the lord for Wikipedia eh son, where would you be without it!

Chris J
Guest
Chris J

Have you got a spare £2bn tucked behind the sofa?

Slasher
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Slasher

There won’t be a third carrier but looking at 1 multi-role helicopter carrier type replacement for RFA Argus & Ocean when the time comes should be looked at with the expertise gained here.

Jonathan
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Jonathan

I’m pretty sure the rule of three relates to being deployed on an operation not simple being available in some unspecified vague sense.

Andy P
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Andy P

The ‘rule of three’ is maybe the ideal, we’ve stuck with four ‘bombers’ because in the case of submarines, they’re quite complicated so four has been deemed as the minimum number for ‘Continual At Sea Deterrent’, I’m sure in an ideal world we’d have 3 aircraft carriers but sometimes finances get in the way.

crabfat
Guest
crabfat

Going off-topic slightly… there was an excellent documentary on (I think ITV) about fighter pilot training at RAF Valley and, in particular pilots working towards being selected for F35 training. The programme focused on two or three RAF pilots and a female RN pilot. At the end of their course, the RAF pilots all got to go for the F35 but Navy lady flunked (a little) and was posted to a Typhoon squadron. Navy? Typhoon? Can anyone throw any light on this logic please?

A. Smith
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A. Smith

Great news. Let’s see the US put an order in for ten vessels with the first built in the UK.

Meirion X
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Meirion X

The posting order on this sile is such annoying!

Lets have chronological order please!

Lusty
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Lusty

She has now safely left the basin and is sat at anchor.

Well done to all involved. There was some media coverage, but it would have been nice to see it live streamed. Still, we can all look forward to her entering Portsmouth for the first time soon and the potential to see QE and POW operating at sea together (bet they’ll pose them for a photo!)

Shawn Dunn
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Shawn Dunn

Rule Britannia!

Robert blay
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Robert blay

A great news story, and an important day for our amazing carrier program, yet most of the comments are negative in some way, typical.

John
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John

Also seen nothing in the press about it. Good news so they are not interested

George Amery
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George Amery

Hi folks hope all’s well. This is great news, just what our military forces need, a good boost to see yet another great leading navy cutting edge carrier under our belt. Shame there was hardly any press on her first floating. I would guess if something went wrong they the press would be all over it with the usual unpatriotic crap. Still this is good news and hope all is in hand to keep up the pace and have her ahead of schedule if possible. Hope Jeremy Corbin doesn’t know as he will eye her up to sell to pay… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

George being all over something is not in anyway unpatriotic. Reports with a “Look BAE have build a bit of a shoddy ship and it cost xBillions…..” are not unpatriotic. They may be ill informed but that vastly different to…. “I’m selling a lot of state assets to Russia” or “I’m going to sacrifice the well being of the British people for the profit of a few companies etc” which are very unpatriotic. Being a critical friend and challenging perceived issues is a patriotic act…the press any irate me on occasion and make my day job a bit more of… Read more »