Aviation & Aerospace Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks U.S. Military Pay Special Forces DoD Dictionary (Alpha-to-Zulu) Military Alphabet Code

HMS Prince of Wales (R09)

Conventionally-Powered Aircraft Carrier

United Kingdom | 2019

"HMS Prince of Wales R09 was officially commissioned into service with the Royal Navy on December 10th, 2019."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 08/29/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
HMS Prince of Wales (R09) has been ordered as the second ship in the Queen Elizabeth-class of aircraft carriers to stock the British Royal Navy beginning in 2020 (the lead ship being HMS Queen Elizabeth). With the official defense contract in place on July 3rd, 2008, HMS Prince of Wales was formally ordered for construction on May 20th, 2008 and her keel was laid down on May 26th, 2011. Barring any project changes or budget cuts, HMS Prince of Wales will join her sister ship sometime in 2018, making her home port out of HMNB Portsmouth, her crew fighting under the motto of "Ich Dien" ("I Serve"). Construction of the various required component "blocks" is being headed by BAe Systems Surface Ships, Babcock Marine, A&P group and Cammell Laird and will ultimately involve some seven total shipyards. Budgetary concerns may leave HMS Queen Elizabeth as the only active ship in the class while HMS Prince of Wales may sit in an indefinite "readiness" status and be called upon is needed.

While the United States Navy continues its large-scale use of aircraft carriers around the world, shrinking military budgets after World War 2 saw limited use of such vessels in competing navies elsewhere - these navies to include that of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. The Royal Navy, therefore, relied on only a few active frontline aircraft carriers in operation at any one time. Their expertise in the use of carrier operations led to an impressive showing during its Falklands War entanglement with Argentina and helped to solidify the need for carriers in future Royal Navy inventory planning and doctrine. All told, the newer Queen Elizabeth-class of carriers will expertly broaden the scope and capability of the British Royal Navy, especially when paired with the latest in strike and helicopter aircraft such as the Lockheed F-35 Lightning II and the AgustaWestland Lynx Wildcat respectively.

In May of 1997, the incoming British government undertook a "Strategic Defense Review" evaluation of military inventories of major branches of service. This study served to verify the value of aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy's future deployments. The resulting agreement also shown that the Cold War-era Invincible-class aircraft carriers did not meet the concerns of the modern and near-future battlefields concerning warfare at sea and, in 1999, several design studies were requested from competing entities and a consensus was then agreed upon that yielded a formal design and competition winner for the expected lucrative defense contract.

HMS Prince of Wales was originally intended to be of a conventional design and layout with its island superstructure(s) offset to the right side of the large-area flight deck. It was to follow the more conventional angled deck carrier layout as opposed to a straight-line approach. However, in May of 2012, British authorities had announced that its design will follow the straight-line arrangement and that the government will be purchasing the STOVL variant of the Lockheed F-35B Lightning II multirole fighter. As such, take-off will be assisted by a ski-type ramp at the bow. A pair of hangar elevators will service the flight deck with its aircraft. One of these lifts will be located between the main bridge and the flight bridge island superstructures and the other aft of the flight bridge superstructure along the starboard-stern area of the vessel.

Unique to the design and silhouette of HMS Prince of Wales (and the entire Queen Elizabeth-class of aircraft carriers) will be its twin island superstructure design. The forward structure will contain the primary bridge facilities whilst the rear-set structure will be home to the flight control section charged with managing the air wing. Both superstructures will be aligned to the starboard side of the vessel, leaving the central and portside areas clear for the launching and recovery of various aircraft types.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.
HMS Prince of Wales will be home to approximately 600 Royal Navy personnel including sailors, officers and flight crew. Total capacity in wartime may exceed double that if needed (as many as 1,450 personnel). When completed, HMS Prince of Wales is expected to be much larger than the Invincible-class carriers it replaces, putting her more in competition with the US Navy's Nimitz-class of nuclear-powered carriers. As such, HMS Prince of Wales and her sister, HMS Queen Elizabeth, will become the largest and technologically advanced warships ever constructed for the British Navy. Both are currently under construction as of this writing (November 2011).

Propulsion for HMS Prince of Wales will be conventional in nature unlike its American counterparts that rely highly on nuclear power. HMS Prince of Wales will instead rely on electric propulsion through a pair of Rolls-Royce Marine Trent MT30 series gas turbine generator systems yielding 48,000 horsepower tied to four Wartsila Diesel Generator units (2 x of 12,000 horsepower and 2 x of 15,000 horsepower). Total displacement for the vessel is expected to reach 72,300 short tons with a 932 foot running length, 240 foot beam and 36 foot beam. Top speed is listed at 25 knots in ideal conditions.

HMS Prince of Wales air wing will consist of a combination of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft numbering approximately 40 to include the upcoming Lockheed F-35 Lightning II for multi-role strike and engagement duties. The rotary-win contingent is expected to include British AgustaWestland Lynx Wildcat medium and AgustaWestland Merlin heavy helicopters. Additionally, there will be support for Boeing Chinook tandem-rotor transport helicopters and the Apache attack helicopter as needed. The Royal Navy was initially set to receive the STOVL variant of the F-35 Lightning II ("F-35B") but reports state that this has since given way to procurement of the more conventional F-35C carried-based aircraft which can launch via catapult and be recovered via tow cable. All supported aircraft will be maintained and managed through an integrated below-deck hangar and twin-elevator lift system. Fixed-wing aircraft will launch via catapults at designated areas of the flight deck and recovery will be through conventional tow cables stretched across the aft portion of the deck. There will be enough area across the flight deck of the carrier that she will be able to stock multiple "ready-to-fly" aircraft along the starboard side for quick reaction.

HMS Prince of Wales will be defensed by a network of weapon systems intended to provide long-range and point defense protection of the vital machine. This will include Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems as well as 30mm cannons to cover both aerial and surface-minded threats. Interestingly, missile-minded defense is not formally listed as of this writing. Additionally, defense will be supplied from accompanying surface ships and submarines operating within the carrier fleet. HMS Prince of Wales will rely on a Thales S1850M long-range radar system to track, identify and engage incoming threats. Additional processing will be via the ultra Electronics Series 2500 Electro optical System (EOS) and Glide Path Camera suite.

Content ©MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

May 2008 - HMS Prince of Wales was officially ordered by the British government.

September 2017 - A christening ceremony took place for HMS Prince of Wales.

December 2017 - HMS Prince of Wales was formally launched from its holdings.

September 2019 - HMS Prince of Wales has left its berth at Rosyth shipyard in Scotland to begin its requisite sea trials phase.

December 2019 - HMS Prince of Wales has been formally commissioned, the ceremony taking place on December 10th, 2019.

August 2022 - The HMS Prince of Wales has broken down en route to the United States with "mechanical issues" being cited.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one sea-going vessel design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for HMS Prince of Wales (R09).
2 x Rolls-Royce Marine Trent MT30 gas turbines developing 48,000 horsepower each; 2 x Wartsila Diesel Generators generating 15,000 horsepower each; 2 x Wartsila Diesel Generators generating 12,000 horsepower each.
27.0 kts
31.1 mph
Surface Speed
9,999 nm
11,507 miles | 18,519 km
The bow-to-stern, port-to-starboard physical qualities of HMS Prince of Wales (R09).
932.0 ft
284.07 meters
O/A Length
239.4 ft
72.97 meters
36.0 ft
10.97 meters
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of HMS Prince of Wales (R09).
20mm "Phalanx" Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs).
30mm Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs).
Air Arm
Available supported fixed-wing / rotary-wing aircraft featured in the design of HMS Prince of Wales (R09).
Up to 40 aircraft of various types including:

Lockheed F-35B "Lightning II" strike fighters.
Boeing CH-47 "Chinook" transport helicopters.
Boeing AH-64 "Apache" attack helicopters.
AgustaWestland HM.2/HC.4 "Merlin" transport helicopters.
Westland HMA.2/AH.1 "Wildcat" medium-lift / utility helicopters.
Ships-in-Class (2)
Notable series variants as part of the HMS Prince of Wales (R09) family line as relating to the Queen Elizabeth-class group.
HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08); HMS Prince of Wales (R09)
Global operator(s) of the HMS Prince of Wales (R09). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national naval warfare listing.
National flag of the United Kingdom

[ United Kingdom ]
1 / 3
Image of the HMS Prince of Wales (R09)
Image courtesy of the UK MoD
2 / 3
Image of the HMS Prince of Wales (R09)
Image courtesy of the UK MoD
3 / 3
Image of the HMS Prince of Wales (R09)
Image courtesy of the UK MoD

Going Further...
HMS Prince of Wales (R09) Conventionally-Powered Aircraft Carrier appears in the following collections:
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Scale Military Ranks U.S. DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols US 5-Star Generals WW2 Weapons by Country

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Part of a network of sites that includes Global Firepower, WDMMA.org, WDMMW.org, and World War Next.

©2024 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2024 (21yrs)