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Second British Aircraft Carrier visits Gibraltar

Wednesday, July 7th 2021 - 21:38 UTC
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HMS Prince of Wales  in Gibraltar waters (Pic Jim Watt) HMS Prince of Wales in Gibraltar waters (Pic Jim Watt)

HMS Prince of Wales arrived in Gibraltar on Tuesday 6 July for a programmed logistics visit. This inaugural visit to Gibraltar will also be her first non-UK port visit.

The Queen Elizabeth class carrier has a minimum crew complement of around 700 personnel with the full complement increasing to around 1600 when aircraft are onboard. Weighing 65,000 tonnes she has a top speed of 25 knots and two 33-tonne propellers, designed to deliver around 50,000 horsepower each. With a flight deck measuring 70 metres wide by 280 metres she can embark 36 F-35B and four Merlin Helicopters.

She is the seventh ship to carry the name, with the first being launched in 1765.

The first new carrier of the class, HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) is already operational.

Both ships have been constructed in numerous shipyards in one of the most demanding and revolutionary shipbuilding programmes ever undertaken, with the pieces being slotted together in a specially-extended dry dock at Rosyth on the Forth to create two 65,000-ton leviathans.
The ships are armed with Phalanx, one of the deadly last lines of defence for Britain's warships. Capable of engaging targets around one mile away, it is a radar-controlled Gatling gun which fires 20mm shells, spewing out 3,000 rounds a minute.

The Phalanx is designed to engage incoming enemy aircraft and missiles if they penetrated a ship or task group's outer ring of defences such as Sea Viper or Sea Dart.
HMS Prince of Wales is Commanded by Captain Darren Houston RN. She has recently completed sea trials off the south coast of England. During this visit to Gibraltar, Captain Houston will hand over command of the ship to a new Commanding Officer, Captain Stephen Higham OBE RN.

Also visiting Gibraltar, on a routine, programmed visit. is HMS Artful An Astute-class fleet submarine.
The Astute-class are 97 Metres long and are capable of circumnavigating the globe submerged, producing their own oxygen and drinking water. All these boats feature advanced nuclear technology and never require to be refuelled.


Categories: Politics, International.

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