The Royal Navy’s newest vessel, HMS Prince of Wales, has tested its long-range radar for the first time to track two Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon aircraft flown from Lossiemouth.
HMS Prince of Wales, the second ship in the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class of aircraft carriers, is undergoing sea trials in the North Sea.
The 920ft-long, 65,000t ship began the sea trials last month off the coast of Scotland and is putting its systems through paces in Sea State 6 conditions.
During the course of the ongoing trials, the vessel has achieved a series of firsts. Among the highlights is the first test of HMS Prince of Wales’ citadel, the self-contained heart of the ship designed to protect sailors from chemical, nuclear and biological weapons.
Following this feat, the carrier hit a top speed of 25k as part of engine testing during the second week of trials.
The £3bn warship, which was assembled in Rosyth, also tested its small-calibre guns, which serve as the last line of defence against small fast craft.
HMS Prince of Wales senior warfare officer lieutenant commander Grahame Flint said: “I know that, after a long time focussing on the ship’s material state, and training in firefighting and damage control, my above water weapons section were very keen to demonstrate their own capabilities.”
The carrier made its first port visit to Invergordon to refuel and take on supplies, including food. With formal commissioning scheduled to take place by the end of the year, the ship is expected to visit its home base of Portsmouth next month.