Britain’s second aircraft carrier afloat for the first time

UK Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales has been floated and moved to her fitting-out berth at Rosyth, the navy informed.

In an overnight operation, sluices were opened and water gradually filled the dry dock, specially enlarged for the 65,000-tonne warship and her older sister HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The next step is to move the ship from her home for the past three years to the neighbouring basin and J and K berths, where her sister was fitted out before departing on sea trials during the summer.

“As the second of her class, HMS Prince of Wales is of strategic significance ensuring continuous carrier strike capability,” Captain Ian Groom, the carrier’s Senior Naval Officer, commented.

Prince of Wales is 3,000 tonnes heavier than her sister was at the same stage.

Originally planned for 2018, the ‘undocking’ of the carrier took place ahead of schedule and just three months after the carrier was named by HRH the Duchess of Rothesay.