HMS Prince of Wales, the second aircraft carrier being built by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance for the Royal Navy, has been successfully floated out of the dock at Rosyth.
This latest development in the programme comes just three months after the Duchess of Rothesay formally named the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier at a ceremony in Rosyth, where the ship has been assembled.
Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin said: “This is an important moment in the monumental programme to build these two magnificent ships. I would like to thank the 10,000 people from across the UK who have helped us make such progress during 2017 on both HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.”
Sir Simon Lister, Managing Director of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, said: “2017 has been a remarkable year for the 10,000 men and women who have been involved in the design and construction of the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers. This milestone marks a significant moment in HMS Prince of Wales’ build programme and I would like to pay tribute to all those who have dedicated their efforts to this great national endeavour.
“The ship is already benefiting from the lessons learned in the construction of HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is testament to the skills of the British shipbuilding industry and proves that we still have what it takes to be a great maritime industrial nation.”
Captain Ian Groom, Senior Naval Officer, said: “The effort from our industry colleagues, Ministry of Defence and Naval personnel to get us to this point has been immense. It has been a massive team effort and I am proud of every individual contribution. It is a fitting end to the Year of the Navy to have HMS Queen Elizabeth commissioned and HMS Prince of Wales undocked and afloat for the first time.
“As the second of her class, HMS Prince of Wales is of strategic significance, ensuring continuous carrier strike capability. Working as one team, we are delivering an unmistakable sign of commitment to the defence of our great nation and that of our allies.”
The team at the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, comprising the Ministry of Defence, BAE Systems, Babcock and Thales, is preparing to handover HMS Prince of Wales to the Royal Navy in 2019.
Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA)