Second giant warship preparing to carry Norfolk jets
Britain's newest aircraft carrier is on track to set sail later this month, the head of the Royal Navy has said.
HMS Prince of Wales, the sister ship of HMS Queen Elizabeth, will carry the F-35 Lightning jets based at RAF Marham on deployments around the world.
She is explected to leave Rosyth dockyard and squeeze into the Firth of Forth for her maiden voyage in the coming weeks so her engines can be tested.
It will see both of the UK's biggest and most powerful warships at sea together for the first time.
First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin said: "We are on track for HMS Prince of Wales to sail from Rosyth later this month to start her sea trials.
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"Similarly, we are on track for her arrival into Portsmouth in December."
It is understood the departure from the dockyard where the ship has been built could happen as early as next week, weather permitting.
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At 280 metres long, weighing 65,000 tonnes, with a predicted lifespan of half a century and a flight deck of four acres, the £3.1 billion ship is expected to commission into the Royal Navy in 2020.
Sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth is off the east coast of America, where F-35 jets from Norfolk will make their first landing on deck.
During their 50-year service, the two Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers will be used for work ranging from high-intensity fighting to humanitarian aid and disaster relief.