Royal Navy's second aircraft carrier christened HMS Prince of Wales
The second of the UK's two aircraft carriers being built by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, HMS Prince of Wales, has been officially named in a ceremony held at Rosyth Naval Dockyard in Scotland.
The latest development follows the first aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth's initial entry into the port of Portsmouth as part of its maiden sea trials programme.
Aircraft Carrier Alliance managing director Sir Simon Lister said: “Today’s naming ceremony is a significant moment in the life of the programme, and for each and every person involved in the design and construction of HMS Prince of Wales, one of the largest engineering projects in the UK today.
“HMS Prince of Wales, along with her sister ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, reflects the very best of British design and engineering capability and has created a once in a lifetime opportunity for highly skilled employees to be involved in an iconic programme.”
HMS Prince of Wales is expected to carry out sea trials with a crew of 679 personnel in 2019, prior to entering service with the Royal Navy.
Royal Navy first sea lord and chief Sir Philip Jones said: “With two Queen Elizabeth-class carriers in Royal Navy service, one will be available for operations at all times.
“When paired with the F35B Joint Strike Fighter, they will provide our nation with a continuous Carrier Strike capability; a powerful conventional deterrent in a dangerous and uncertain world.”
There are currently 150 Royal Navy and RAF personnel undergoing F-35 aircraft training in the US.
The UK is expected to have 14 of these fast jets by the end of the year, with initial flight trials from the deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth planned for next year.