The HMS Prince of Wales returns


After undergoing significant enhancements, the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales, is ready to resume duties after a nine-month hiatus dedicated to repairs. Now fully functional, the aircraft carrier has departed the dry dock at Rosyth and entered the River Forth.

Once securely anchored in deeper waters, the ship’s crew will activate machinery and systems before embarking on a voyage under the iconic Forth Bridges towards Portsmouth.

The ship is slated to build upon its remarkable past achievements, which include serving as NATO’s command vessel and leading the Maritime High Readiness Force in the Arctic. It is expected to take over the role of the nation’s flagship from HMS Queen Elizabeth by the end of 2024.

The refurbishment involved meticulous collaboration between the ship’s engineering departments and industry experts, primarily from Babcock, the operators of the facility at Rosyth, and BAE Systems.

Captain Richard Hewitt, HMS Prince of Wales’ Commanding Officer, praised the efforts of those who sought to return the carrier to front-line duties again:

“We are returning HMS Prince of Wales to operations as the most advanced warship ever built for the Royal Navy.

“This year we will be operating F-35s, V-22 Ospreys, drones and the RN Merlin helicopters – pushing the boundaries of naval aviation and UK Carrier Strike capability as we progress towards a global deployment in 2025.

“Our sailors are paramount to ensuring our return to operations.  They have approached the task of getting us back to sea with the remarkable ethos that I have come to expect from them. They are a credit to the ship and the Royal Navy.”

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