The British Royal Navy’s second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales has fired up its engines for the first time.

Starting up the diesel generators marks a major milestone for the Royal Navy vessel to enter the sea in the second half of next year.

The 65,000t aircraft carrier is equipped with four diesel generators built by Finnish manufacturing company Wärtsilä.

Each engine is capable of generating more than 11MW of electricity, which would be enough to supply power to a town of 25,000 people.

All four generators will be able to produce a combined 40% of the total power generated by the newest Royal Navy aircraft carrier.

“With the first run of HMS Prince of Wales’ diesel generators now complete, the ship is truly coming to life on its own systems.”

The remaining power will be produced by the Rolls-Royce-built MT30 main engines that would help drive the vessel through the water.

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HMS Prince of Wales power and propulsion engineering officer lieutenant James Sheridan-Browne said: “With the first run of HMS Prince of Wales’ diesel generators now complete, the ship is truly coming to life on its own systems.

“The running of diesel generators will now continue to provide a steady drumbeat to sailing the ship to Portsmouth in 2019.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales have been designed and constructed by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, which is a collaboration between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock, the Ministry of Defence (MoD), and the Royal Navy.

In June, the second UK carrier was fitted with the advanced Artisan 3D radar system that is capable of detecting smaller objects, travelling at three times the speed of sound and at a distance of more than 25km.