Prince of Wales Maiden Visit to Home Port
Britain's newest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales sails into home port of Portsmouth Naval Base for the first time.
The £3.1 billion warship left Rosyth dockyard, Scotland, where it was built in September before undergoing eight weeks of sea trials.
The ship’s arrival into Portsmouth represents the culmination of 16 years of work by the ACA – a unique alliance relationship between BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales, and the UK Ministry of Defence.
More than 10,000 people across the UK have been involved in the program 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.
Sir Simon Lister, Managing Director, 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 program 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.”
Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive, BAE Systems, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the role that BAE Systems has played in this national endeavor. 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.”
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 program tested all 158 essential systems on the ship which includes power and propulsion, radars, communications and essential hotel and platform services.
More than £100m has been spent updating and enhancing the facilities at Her Majesty's Naval Base, Portsmouth, including an upgrade to the Princess Royal Jetty which will be home to both carriers.
A new Combined Heat and Power facility has also been established to deliver power to the carriers, increase energy resilience and reduce the carbon footprint of the Base. Made up of three natural gas generators, at full load, the facility can produce enough energy to power 28,000 homes.