Final section of Prince of Wales takes to the sea

The aft island of the nation’s second aircraft carrier makes its way along the Clyde on its journey to Rosyth.

The 750-tonne section, which will control aircraft operations on HMS Prince of Wales, left BAE Systems’ shipyard in Glasgow for the journey by barge.

The section, which is ten weeks ahead of schedule, was driven from the ship hall by a platform with 144 wheels, 16 axles and a single remote control onto a seagoing barge for its 1,335 mile journey around the south of England.

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

“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.”

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.

Iain Stevenson, BAE Systems

The Queen Elizabeth-class are the first aircraft carriers in the world to use an innovative twin-island design. The forward island contains the bridge and is primarily responsible for the command of the ship.

The aft island is responsible for the ship’s mission systems and act as an aircraft control tower for the F-35B Lightning II jets, as well as Royal Navy helicopters.

The aircraft carriers are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a unique partnering relationship between BAE Systems, Thales UK, Babcock and the Ministry of Defence.

You can follow the progress of the barge by tracking the tug boat Esvagt Connector on marinetraffic.com.

Pictures: Drew Farrell / BAE Systems