Cammell Laird excited to welcome HMS Prince of Wales to Liverpool
HMS Prince of Wales, the second of Britain’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, is to make her inaugural visit to Liverpool later this month.
The ship will arrive in the city on February 28. According to the Royal Navy, the week-long visit will be packed with celebrations and community events. People will also be able to step on board over the weekend of 29 February, marking the first time one of the new aircraft carriers has officially been open to visitors.
HMS Prince of Wales is affiliated with the cities of Liverpool and Bristol, while her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth is affiliated with London and Edinburgh. Liverpool is the only affiliated city that can be accessed by a carrier.
Cammell Laird is proud to have played a key role in the construction of this magnificent vessel as part of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance. The Merseyside shipbuilder successfully completed nine units for the first Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, and its block building expertise were called upon once again in 2013 when it was tasked with fabricating and outfitting six units for HMS Prince of Wales. Construction of the blocks began in July and involved a workforce of 250 people, including contractors.
The first two centre blocks for HMS Prince of Wales were completed in autumn 2014. Known as CB02 Ring F and Ring G, these blocks were 40 metres wide, 15 metres deep and 10 metres tall. They weighed 942 tonnes and 642 tonnes respectively. After being moved to Cammell Laird’s non-tidal wet basin and loaded onto a large ocean-going barge, the units were transported to the Rosyth shipyard in Scotland where the carrier was assembled. Work on the additional four blocks was completed the following year.
Tony Graham, Cammell Laird’s Chief Operating Officer, had a close professional relationship with the Queen Elizabeth-class carrier programme over a period of seven critical years between 2008 and 2015 in his role as Director of Capital Ships and Director of Ships.
He said: “Everyone at Cammell Laird will be exceptionally proud to see HMS Prince of Wales sailing into her affiliated city of Liverpool. That she is visiting so soon after being commissioned into the Fleet underlines the strong bond that exists between Merseyside and the Royal Navy.
“She is one of the most powerful surface warships ever constructed in Britain, and Cammell Laird’s role in that process is a source of immense pride. Images of HMS Prince of Wales set against the Liverpool skyline will be beamed out across the world, and serve as a powerful reminder of the skills and shipbuilding expertise available on Merseyside today.”
Captain Darren Houston, HMS Prince of Wales’ Commanding Officer, said the visit would provide “an opportunity for us to cement our bond with the city”.
He added: “We’re looking forward to hosting people from the local community on board during our time alongside, and I know we will receive the warmest of welcomes.”
Main image: The UK’s newest aircraft carrier arrives in Portsmouth. By AET Godfrey. ©UK Ministry of Defence CROWN COPYRIGHT, 2019