First blocks of HMS Prince of Wales ready to leave Portsmouth BAE shipyard

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As HMS Queen Elizabeth left her dock for the first time in Rosyth, Portsmouth shipbuilders were witnessing another milestone in the carrier project.

The first Portsmouth-built block of the second carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, was loaded out of the giant shipbuilding hall and onto a barge yesterday.

17/7/14 ''Sections of the HMS Prince of Wales carrier completed at the  BAE shipbuilding in Portsmouth Naval Base. The large block is moved out of the shed and onto a barge, heading for Scotland''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142098-10) PPP-140717-163728001

17/7/14 ''Sections of the HMS Prince of Wales carrier completed at the BAE shipbuilding in Portsmouth Naval Base. The large block is moved out of the shed and onto a barge, heading for Scotland''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142098-10) PPP-140717-163728001

The giant centre block will be sailed out of Portsmouth next week and up to Rosyth, where the now-vacated dock will be immediately put back into use for the construction of the second warship.

Paul Bowsher, the BAE Systems project manager for Portsmouth, said: ‘It’s great that we are loading out this block on the same day HMS Queen Elizabeth is floated out.

‘It is very proud moment for us to get to this point.

‘I am very proud of the team who have done a difficult job under obviously very difficult circumstances.

‘But we have finished with pride.’

Work on the Prince of Wales carrier blocks will be the last project for shipbuilders in Portsmouth who will lose their jobs when BAE Systems stops shipbuilding operations in Portsmouth.

Over the next few days two sections of HMS Prince of Wales will be secured to the barge and prepared to leave Portsmouth Harbour.

The barge is expected to leave some time next week.

Click here to see the spectacular images of HMS Queen Elizabeth taking to the water for the first time.