NEWS: Forward and central sections of second Royal Navy carrier joined together

HMS QE 5

HMS Prince of Wales will be the second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier for the Royal Navy

Construction of the Royal Navy’s second Queen Elizabeth-class V/STOL aircraft carrier, the HMS Prince of Wales R09, has reached a milestone after the 26,500 ton forward half of the vessel was successfully joined to another 12,000 ton central section at Babcock Rosyth Facilities.The forward half was moved 17m on a specialised hydraulic system to meet the other section resulting in a perfect connecting of the two halves of the ship.

Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) build and assembly manager Tom Niven said:

…this is the final operation of its type on the programme and the heaviest section anyone in the UK has had to move.

Weighing 65,000t and featuring a flight deck spanning around 4.5 acres, the QE-class carriers can operate F-35B Lightning II Vertical/Short Take-off and Landing (V/STOL) low observability combat aircraft in day or night. The vessel will also be able to deploy large numbers of helicopters for a variety of combat and peacetime roles such as that of humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

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6 responses to “NEWS: Forward and central sections of second Royal Navy carrier joined together

  1. These ships – well, ship, given the plan to hold one in a state of advanced readiness – have had an extraordinary gestation and (given the other sacrifices the RN had to make to get them) will certainly be the face of the fleet well into the twenty-first century. The irony is that a century ago the very largest warships of the day were not merely common in the RN but essential. So times change.

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    • It reflects the changing nature of the threats to the UK I suppose. Russia’s fleet is in an appalling condition so there’s no threat there and while China is modernizing it’s fleet is still stuck in the 90s in terms of capability and still largely confined to home seas. What is needed to fight terrorism is a mobile air strip but just how much we need it is debateable.

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      • Yes, the world has turned on its head since the days of the Edwardian period! Affordability is another issue: there were always worries about the cost of the RN – in fact I wrote my thesis on the politics of New Zealand’s contribution to the RN in 1909 – but the issues are more pointed these days because of relative costs. I think the real crisis in this sense came after 1918 when budgets simply did not permit the desired naval programme. The G3 and N3 class capital ships were not just cut off by the Washington Treaty, as I understand it the Treasury was not going to support Admiralty calls for funding them anyway. An argument that has basically persisted since in various ways.

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  2. I thought that the Tories announced at 2014 Nato summit that the PoW would be ‘bought into service’ rather then be held as a reserve. Im not sure this really means in use or its just another way of saying will be tied up to wharf except when QE2 is in dock.
    An interesting detail, the battleship Prince of Wales, which was ordered in the mid 1930s was supposed to be named King Edward VIII, the king who abdicated. When the new King George VI took over he insisted the name to be changed to PoW. Which is a round about way of saying he was wiped off the board.

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