The engines of HMS Prince of Wales, the UK’s second new aircraft carrier, have been fired up for the first time.
Engineers on the Royal Navy carrier have turned on the diesel generators as they prepare to send her out to sea in the second half of next year.
The bowels of HMS Prince of Wales contain four Wärtsilä diesel generators, each capable of producing more than 11 megawatts of power – enough to support a town of 25,000 people.
Together they will generate 40 per cent of the total power produced by the carrier. The Rolls-Royce MT30 main engines will drive the ship through the water but have not been turned on yet.
Lieutenant James Sheridan-Browne, the carrier’s power and propulsion engineering officer, said: ‘With the first run of HMS Prince of Wales’ diesel generators now complete, the ship is truly coming to life on its own systems.
‘The running of diesel generators will now continue to provide a steady drumbeat to sailing the ship to Portsmouth in 2019.’
Simon Lister, managing director of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance – the collaboration of industry, Royal Navy and MOD which has designed and built Prince of Wales and her older sister HMS Queen Elizabeth – added: ‘To all involved – and that is a large proportion of the entire workforce – my thanks and congratulations on achieving the first diesel start.
‘This has seen focused effort, great innovation, real perseverance in the face of setbacks, and a commitment to quality that has been truly impressive.
‘These are becoming the hallmarks of HMS Prince of Wales. Great teamwork from a large number of groups and individuals. Well done, thank you, and now for the gas turbines!’