HMS Prince of Wales is one of the most powerful surface warships ever constructed in the UK is is coming to the Mersey for a week-long visit. Tony McDonough reports
Britain’s newest aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales is coming to Liverpool at the end of February for a week-long visit.
At 65,000 tonnes and 280 metres wide, the vessel is one of the most powerful surface warships ever constructed in the UK, along with her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth. Sections of both ships were built at Cammell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead.
HMS Prince of Wales will sail into the Mersey on Friday, February 28, and members of the public will be able to step on board on the weekend of February 29 and March 1. It will be the first time one of the new aircraft carriers has officially been open to visitors.
Captain Darren Houston, the Commanding Officer of HMS Prince of Wales, said: “My ship’s company and I are hugely excited about our first visit to Liverpool. This is an opportunity for us to cement our bond with the city as one of the newest warships in the Royal Navy’s fleet.
“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.”
With an expected service life of up to 50 years, the floating cities of the Queen Elizabeth-class are highly versatile and able to meet the widest range of tasks around the world. The punch is provided by F-35 Lightning fighter jets as she deploys around the world in a naval task group.
Royal Navy is transforming into a force centred around carrier strike – supporting the ships as they conduct carrier strike missions, enforce no-fly zones, deploy Royal Marine Commandos, deliver humanitarian aid, and build international partnerships with our allies.
Deputy Mayor and Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, added: “It’s a huge coup for Liverpool to welcome HMS Prince of Wales on its inaugural, history-making visit. The sheer scale of the ship will be a real spectacle on the River Mersey and is set to attract national and international attention, drawing massive crowds.”