HMS Prince of Wales: Navy ship arrives in Portsmouth

Image source, Royal Navy
Image caption,
HMS Prince of Wales arrived into Portsmouth for the first time

The Royal Navy's newest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, has been welcomed by thousands of people as it sailed into Portsmouth for the first time.

Shipping lanes were closed and an air exclusion zone was put in place for the arrival of the £3.1bn warship.

The welcome included a fly-past of two Hawk jets and a Wildcat helicopter.

It is the sister ship of HMS Queen Elizabeth, which has been based in Portsmouth since August 2017.

The ships are the most expensive to have ever been built for the Royal Navy.

They can be docked next to each other in Portsmouth Naval Base after £30m work was completed.

Image source, LPhot Rory Arnold
Image caption,
Six shipyards around the UK were involved in the building of HMS Prince of Wales

HMS Prince of Wales had been used in trials since September after setting sail from the Firth of Forth.

Commanding Officer Captain Darren Houston said: "Our first entry to Portsmouth represents the successful culmination of the build and sea trials period in which my ship's company and industry partners have worked so closely together to bring HMS Prince of Wales into service with the fleet.

"I am extremely proud of them and their families for their perseverance, patience and extraordinary efforts."

The 65,000-tonne ship will be formally commissioned before the end of the year.

Image source, Royal Navy
Image caption,
HMS Prince of Wales has recently undergone tests in heavy seas

A crew of at least 700 will serve on it but it has a capacity of about 1,600 people.

HMS Prince of Wales can also carry 36 jets and four helicopters.

Its flight deck is 70m wide and 280m long - as big as three football pitches - and it holds 45 days' worth of food in stores.

From keel to the top of its highest mast, the ship is taller than Nelson's Column.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently on the east coast of the USA and taking part in trials with the United States Navy.


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