Block for next carrier on the move
Just days after the naming ceremony for her sister, a giant segment of the second of Britain’s two new aircraft carriers has been completed.
Loaded on to a barge in Glasgow is an 8,000-tonne section of HMS Prince of Wales, ready to be transported around the top of Scotland from the Clyde to the Forth.
The segment – Lower Block 03 is roughly the size of a Type 45 destroyer and contains 160 cabins, engine spaces, bakery and part of the carrier’s cavernous hangar (which is wide enough to accommodate two Type 23 frigates side by side).
Over the weekend it was carefully manoeuvred out of the BAE Systems shipbuilding hall at Govan and on to a barge alongside on the Clyde.
Weather permitting, it’s due to sail on the 600-mile voyage to Rosyth where it will join several sections of the second 65,000-tonne flat-top which are awaiting assembly in the dockyard.
They’ve been waiting for HMS Queen Elizabeth to vacate the enormous, enlarged dry dock where the flagship has been pieced together over the past few years.
Flooding up of the dock is taking place this week with the carrier due to be inched out shortly into the neighbouring basin for fitting out to begin.
Once she’s been moved, assembly of the Prince of Wales’ sections – built at six yards across the land – is due to start in September.