Royal Navy's newest aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales set to leave Portsmouth at the weekend
AIRCRAFT carrier HMS Prince of Wales is due to set sail on her next phase of sea trials at the weekend.
The 65,000-tonne behemoth returned to Portsmouth last month after spending several weeks at sea, which saw her making her maiden trip to Gibraltar and carrying out flight trials with a number of helicopters.
Now the £3.2bn vessel is earmarked to depart from Portsmouth Naval Base on Sunday to continue with the next phase of her work up towards becoming a fully operational warship.
The trip out to sea is expected to focus more on warfighting manoeuvres and drills and will mark the second time that both the Royal Navy’s new flagship aircraft carriers will have been out at sea at the same time.
The warship is expected to depart from 12.25pm, according to shipping information. However, this could be subject to change.
HMS Prince of Wales is the second of the two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, the largest vessels ever built for the Royal Navy.
Her sister ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is currently on deployment in the Far East, having left Guam last week after two sailors were arrested following a sexual assault in a nightclub.
Since departing Portsmouth on her maiden operational mission, Queen Elizabeth has sailed a whopping 25,603 nautical miles.
With helicopters and two squadron of F-35 stealth jets embarked on board the ship has also notched up a total of 2,900 flying hours, with aircraft taking off and landing on her enormous flight deck.
And the 1,600 embarked personnel on board have managed to munch their way through an massive amount of food – 11 tonnes of sausages, 12 tonnes of carrots and four tonnes of angel delight.
HMS Prince of Wales is earmarked to be fully operational next year, when she is expected to carry out operational duties with Nato.