Forward island of future HMS Prince of Wales unveiled

the Forward Island of the second Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, is  loaded out of its dock hall in Glasgow ahead of its first sea voyage to Rosyth
the Forward Island of the second Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, is loaded out of its dock hall in Glasgow ahead of its first sea voyage to Rosyth
HMS Queen Elizabeth leaves Portsmouth for the first time to go on sea trials

Picture: Malcolm Wells (171030-0346)

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A 680-tonne section of one of Portsmouth’s future aircraft carriers has been unveiled.

The forward island, from where HMS Prince of Wales will be commanded, contains the bridge and approximately 100 vital mission systems compartments.

It has been under wraps in Govan since construction of the section began in December 2013, but is now visible from the west end of Glasgow as it is set to make off on its first sea voyage to Rosyth, where HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are being put together.

BAE Systems naval ships managing director Mick Ord said: ‘This is a fantastic milestone for HMS Prince of Wales as its forward island is delivered ahead of schedule and to an exceptional standard of engineering.

‘It’s a proud day for everyone on the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier programme and an important reminder of their tremendous dedication and skill in naval engineering.’

A single remote control and 144 wheels, carefully travelling at half a mile per hour, was used to drive the key section to the dock side in Glasgow.

The forward island also has deck-to-deck windows, which are up to 6ft 6in 
tall.

This creates visibility levels far beyond those on previous aircraft carriers.

They also help to withstand powerful impacts, such as a helicopter’s spinning rotor blade.

The forward island of HMS Queen Elizabeth was one of the last things built in Portsmouth before BAE Systems ceased shipbuilding operations in the city.