UK Navy’s HMS Prince of Wales welcomes its first crew
The UK Royal Navy's second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, has welcomed its first crew, comprised of twelve personnel.
The team will coordinate with industry partners to get acquainted with the carrier's structure, its equipment and technology ahead of sea trials.
UK Defence Minister Philip Dunne said: "From today, HMS Prince of Wales will be home to a growing complement of personnel, offering a clear demonstration of how our £178bn investment in equipment is securing a bright future for our Armed Forces."
HMS Prince of Wales delivery director Angus Holt said: "The significance of the first Royal Navy personnel joining the nation's future flagship cannot be underestimated and marks an important part of our delivery programme."
The aircraft carrier is currently being constructed in Rosyth by Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a partnership between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the UK Ministry of Defence.
The project involved employing the manpower of 10,000 people across six build yards.
HMS Prince of Wales follows the construction of its sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth, which was launched in July 2014.
It can accommodate a crew of 250 people and is equipped to carry 40 F-35B Lightning II fighter-bombers; and Merlin helicopters for airborne early warning and anti-submarine warfare.
The vessel is fitted with a 750t island on the deck of the ship which will serve as the platform for aerial operations.
Image: Team of personnel at the shipyard. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.