HMS Prince of Wales: Industry leaders welcome the Royal Navy carrier to Portsmouth
DEFENCE bosses have hailed the arrival of HMS Prince of Wales to Portsmouth as an important day for the Royal Navy.
The second of two aircraft carriers, designed and constructed for the Royal Navy, has sailed into her home port of Portsmouth for the first time and hundreds of people, including industry employees, Royal Navy personnel and their families, gathered along the city’s shoreline to welcome the ship to her new home.
The ship’s arrival into Portsmouth represents the culmination of 16 years of work by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance – a relationship between BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales, and the UK Ministry of Defence.
Sir Simon Lister, managing director of Aircraft Carrier Alliance, said: ‘Today is an important day for our employees and the Royal Navy. Delivering next generation naval capability of this complexity is not only a proud moment for our employees but also showcases the industrial capability within the UK.
‘This programme has brought together the best of British imagination, ingenuity and invention and I am extremely proud of our teams who have shown relentless drive, energy and a continued focus on ensuring we deliver the very best for the Royal Navy.’
More than 10,000 people across the UK have been involved in the programme to deliver the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, with six British shipbuilding yards across the country playing a vital role in the ships’ design and construction.
Chief executive of BAE Systems,Charles Woodburn, said: ‘The arrival of HMS Prince of Wales into Portsmouth is an important moment for everyone at BAE Systems, our industrial partners and the thousands of people in the supply chain across the country who have worked so hard to deliver the two Queen Elizabeth Class carriers which will protect our national interests for decades to come.’
Archie Bethel, chief executive at Babcock: ‘Working collaboratively, the ACA has successfully managed the programme over the last decade, with a dedicated and skilled workforce who had one aim in mind – delivering two great, state-of-the-art flagships for the Royal Navy, which I think we can all agree has been achieved.’
Designed to test the carrier’s capability, HMS Prince of Wales and her ship’s company have accomplished a number of trials and ‘firsts’ over the past nine weeks at sea, including the landing of a Merlin Mk2 and a test of her engines at full power.
The sea trials programme tested all 158 essential systems on the ship which includes power and propulsion, radars, communications and essential hotel and platform services.
The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers are the largest, most capable and powerful surface warships ever constructed in the UK, each providing our armed forces with a four acre military operating base. Once fully operational, the ships will provide the forward deployed base for the UK’s F-35B aircraft, delivering an uncompromising carrier strike capability to the UK’s armed forces anywhere in the world.