HMS Prince of Wales achieves top speed during sea trials

3 October 2019 (Last Updated October 3rd, 2019 12:44)

The British Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, has cruised at top speed during testing in the North Sea.

HMS Prince of Wales achieves top speed during sea trials
The British Royal Navy’s HMS Prince of Wales is currently undergoing sea trials in the North Sea. Credit: Royal Navy.

The British Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, has cruised at top speed during testing in the North Sea.

The vessel hit a speed of 25k as its engines were put to test during the second week of trials.

Four diesel generators and two gas turbines with a maximum combined capacity of 109MW power the 65,000t carrier.

The navy said that it required almost all of the generation capacity to propel the ship at full speed and two miles of clear sea to bring it to a halt.

Royal Navy warrant officer Rob Firth said: “I felt privileged to be the first propulsion warrant officer to take HMS Prince of Wales to full power, making use of the majority of her 109MW generation capacity, but this couldn’t have been achieved without the considerable effort of the whole department.

The 280m-long aircraft carrier features an integrated platform management system, which controls the generation, propulsion and fluid systems.

HMS Prince of Wales engineering technician Connor Cope said: “The ability to operate the myriad of complex systems on such a huge scale with so few people is highly dependent on modern technology.”

More than 600 sailors and around 400 contractors are working to prepare the ship’s engineering systems, radars, and communications systems before it is officially handed over to the navy in December.

The speed trials are intended to test the carrier’s engineering and propulsion systems.

HMS Prince of Wales began its first set of sea trials last month off the coast of Scotland. The ship will continue trials throughout the autumn ahead of its debut in Portsmouth.