UK's second aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, set sail for the first time. The 65,000-tonne warship left the basin at Rosyth Dockyard on the Forth, ready to begin sea trials. The ship was laid down eight years ago.
When the ship passes beneath the three iconic Forth crossings and strikes out into the North Sea, then the two largest warships ever built for the Royal Navy will be at sea at the same time. HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently in the North Atlantic preparing for operational training with UK F-35B Lightning jets for the first time.
Now, the ship’s company is focusing on a successful spell of sea trials, having prepared for months, gradually bringing the many systems, sensors and items of machinery from the galley to the main engines into life.
They are joined for the trials by 320 civilian contractors to monitor how the 280-metre-long ship performs and make any necessary adjustments.
Captain Darren Houston, HMS Prince of Wales’ Commanding Officer, stated:
"We are looking forward to sea trials and the opportunity to test our new ship before heading to our new home base of Portsmouth to join our sister ship"
After its sea trials, HMS Prince of Wales will sail for Portsmouth where it is due to be formally commissioned in the presence of its Lady Sponsor, the Duchess of Cornwall, before the end of the year.