HMS Prince of Wales

The first of two Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines has been installed on the UK Royal Navy’s second Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales.

The two 120t engine gas turbines, along with four diesel generators, will form the ship’s main power plant.

When running, this single engine can reportedly collectively generate 109MW power, which is enough to meet the needs of 5,500 family-sized homes at any one time.

HMS Prince of Wales delivery director Angus Holt said: "To have successfully lifted the most powerful engine in the Royal Navy on to the biggest ship ever built for the Royal Navy, using one of the biggest capacity gantry cranes in Europe, is an important event in the construction of HMS Prince of Wales.

"Everyone involved should take huge pride in their contribution to this national endeavour."

"Everyone involved should take huge pride in their contribution to this national endeavour."

The vessel is due to be officially named next year, following its anticipated structural completion by July 2016.

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It will then begin sea trials in January 2019, which will be followed by acceptance in August of the same year.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first carrier, is currently being fitted out ahead of going to sea for the first time next year.

Delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a joint initiative by BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the UK Ministry of Defence, both aircraft carriers will be the showpiece of the UK’s defence capability for the 21st century.

The two 300m-long, 74m-wide and 65,000t vessels will boost sustained operations and ferry an air wing of up to 40 aircraft. They will also provide armed forces with a four-acre military operating base that can travel approximately 500 miles per day and be deployed anywhere worldwide.

Images: The first of two gas turbines being lowered into place on HMS Prince of Wales. Photo: courtesy of Aircraft Carrier Alliance / Royal Navy.