HMS Prince of Wales: 19 quirky facts you might not know about the Royal Navy aircraft carrier

The second of the Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers, HMS Prince of Wales, has arrived in her home port of Portsmouth this afternoon for the first time.

Saturday, 16th November 2019, 3:57 pm
Picture: BAE Systems/PA Wire


Here are some facts about the 65,000 tonne warship and its sister ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth:

- The design of the Queen Elizabeth class of carriers began in 1999 and the ships are expected to have a 50-year service life.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

- The carriers can travel in excess of 25 knots per hour, have a range of 10,000 nautical miles and they are designed for deployments typically lasting nine months.

- Each ship can keep 45 days' worth of food in their stores and a typical deployment would sail with 66,000 sausages, 28,800 rashers of bacon, 64,800 eggs and 12,000 tins of beans.

Read More

Read More
Thousands line Portsmouth seafront to welcome HMS Prince of Wales for the first ...

- The ships have 67 catering staff and have their own bakery which can produce 1,000 loaves of bread per day.

- Each flight deck is 70 metres wide and 280 metres long, which is enough space for four jumbo jets.

- The ships are 56m from keel to masthead which is six metres taller than Nelson's Column, and each ship has 17 decks and 15 lifts.

- Each ship can operate on a crew of 679, which, despite the ships' size, is fewer crew members than for the Invincible class aircraft carriers that they replace.

- Each ship can accommodate up to 1,600 personnel, which would include a full air crew, but also provides space for embarked personnel such as Royal Marines.

- HMS Queen Elizabeth's home berth, Sheer Jetty at Portsmouth Naval Base, has been in use since the 1600s and sits opposite HMS Victory, the world's oldest commissioned warship.

- The ships will fly the F35-B fighter jets - which can fly at 1.6 mach - as well as any type of helicopter used by the UK armed forces.

- Each ship will be able to fly 72 fast jet sorties per day, which can be increased further for limited periods.

- It takes 60 seconds to lift four aircraft from the hangar to the flight deck on each of the two lifts and the ski-jumps that are used for take-off are 6m high.

- Each ship will sail with an escort vessel, such as a Type 45 destroyer, which takes the lead in engaging threats.

- Each ship generates 80MW of power in their propellers, which is equal to 50 high speed trains.

- The fog horn is 162 decibels and can be heard from more than two miles away.

- The ships have their own police office and cells as well as their own dentist, pharmacy, surgery and operating theatre, fitness suites and cinemas.

- Each ship can convert sea water into more than 500 tonnes of drinking water each day, which is for both the crew and providing humanitarian relief.

- Each ship is made up of 17 million parts and there are more than 250,000km of electrical cable and 8,000km of fibre optic cable inside each of the ships.

- There are also 364,000 metres of pipes inside each of the ships, which could stretch from Rosyth to Wales.