The Royal Navy’s second aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales will join her sister ship in Portsmouth ‘in 2019’.
The 65,000 tonne Queen Elizabeth class ship is currently still being built in Rosyth in Scotland, but it is hoped it will be ready for sea trials by late next year.
HMS Prince of Wales will then join her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth at Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Portsmouth.
Commanding Officer, Captain Stephen Moorhouse, said in a video last month: ‘We’re just over a year since her Royal Highness named the ship and we’re just under a year, all being well, from going to sea.’
Now after announcing that HMS Prince of Wales engines have been fired up for the first time, it has been revealed that Portsmouth can expect to see the aircraft carrier in ‘2019’.
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.’
Why is it called Queen Elizabeth class?
Both the class of aircraft carrier and the HMS Queen Elizabeth were named, not for the current sovereign of the UK, but in honour of the WW1 era super-dreadnought Queen Elizabeth.
Is it just the HMS Queen Elizabeth?
No the UK will have two Queen Elizabeth class carriers once construction is finished.
As well as the HMS Queen Elizabeth, there will also be her sister ship the HMS Prince of Wales which is still being finished.
What is so special about them?
Both the HMS QE and HMS Prince of Wales will be the largest warships ever constructed for the Royal Navy.
They will also be the second-largest non-US warships after the Yamato-class battleships – used by Imperial Japan during WW2.
Both ships will be 280 metres (920 ft) long and have a Carrier Air Wing (CVW) of up to forty aircraft – although they are capable of carrying up to fifty at full load.
HMS QE and HMS PW will have F-35B fighter jets and the project is set to cost £6.2 billion in total.
Where will they be based?
Both of the Queen Elizabeth class warships will be based out of Portsmouth Naval Base – after being constructed at Rosyth Dockyard, Fife.