aft island of HMS Prince of Wales

BAE Systems has delivered the aft island section of the UK Royal Navy’s second Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC) aircraft carrier, the HMS Prince of Wales, from its shipyard in Glasgow, UK.

The 750t section, which has been delivered ten weeks ahead of schedule, will sail to Rosyth. It has been designed to control aircraft operations on the HMS Prince of Wales

BAE Systems QE Class Project director Iain Stevenson said: "This is a proud day for our employees throughout the UK, as well as our partners in the Aircraft Carrier Alliance.

"There’s more hard work to be done, but there’s also an incredible momentum behind the programme."

"To see the final section delivered to Rosyth, ahead of schedule and to an incredible standard of engineering is testament to the dedication, skill and ingenuity of all those working on the programme.

"There’s more hard work to be done, but there’s also an incredible momentum behind the programme as mission systems are tested on HMS Queen Elizabeth and assembly continues for HMS Prince of Wales."

Construction of the 300m-long and 74m-wide HMS Prince of Wales is scheduled for completion in July 2016, with sea trials set to begin in January 2019, followed by acceptance in August of the same year.

Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a partnership between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the Ministry of Defence, is responsible for the construction of the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers.

Weighing 65,000t and featuring a flight deck spanning around 4.5 acres, the QE-class carriers can launch, land and maintain aircraft 24-hours-a-day for war efforts and humanitarian aid and disaster relief operations.

The first QEC vessel, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is expected to begin sea trials in August 2016, followed by commissioning in May 2017.

Image: The aft island of HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier Photo: courtesy of Drew Farrell / BAE Systems.