UK's Second New Aircraft Carrier Officially Named HMS Prince Of Wales

The Royal Navy’s second new aircraft carrier has officially been named at a ceremony in Scotland...

It's a landmark day as the Royal Navy's second aircraft carrier is officially named at a ceremony in Scotland.

The patron of HMS Prince of Wales - the Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay when north of the border - led proceedings at Rosyth Dockyard, where the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier is being fitted out.

It's naval tradition for a woman to conduct the naming ceremony for good luck.

The Duchess of Cornwall, the ship's sponsor, smashed a bottle of whisky against HMS Prince of Wales.

HMS Prince of Wales Camilla

Also at the ceremony were senior politicians, naval officers, and veterans of the former HMS Prince of Wales, which was sunk during the Second World War.

Along with her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth, this is the largest engineering project ever undertaken by the UK's military, costing over £6 billion.

Queen Elizabeth was the first aircraft carrier to be built in the programme and set sail from Rosyth this summer.

HMS Prince of Wales is set to follow in 2019 and those working on the 280-metre carrier say lessons have been learned in the construction of the first ship, which will make the second "more efficient".

The pair are Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers and are being built by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA), a partnership of BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales and the Ministry of Defence.

Overall, six shipyards around the UK - Appledore, Birkenhead, Govan, Portsmouth, Rosyth and Tyne - have been involved in building various parts of the carriers.

Those behind the project, which costs an estimated £6.2 billion overall, say the QE Class will be the centrepiece of Britain's naval capability, with an aircraft carrier permanently available to be deployed anywhere in the world in military or humanitarian action.

Take a tour behind the scenes of HMS Prince of Wales' Operations Room 

The first seagoing captain of the Royal Navy's second brand new aircraft carrier will be Stephen Moorhouse.

Captain Moorhouse is an experienced naval officer, having worked as Commanding Officer on HMS Ocean and HMS Lancaster.

Captain Ian Groom, who is currently serving as the Senior Naval Officer on board HMS Prince of Wales, will be handing over to Moorhouse next year.

Speaking of his excitement about his new position, Captain Moorhouse said:

"I am honoured to have been appointed as the first seagoing Captain of HMS Prince of Wales, a hugely exciting job to be in at such an important time for the Royal Navy."

"Seeing our sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth make her debut in Portsmouth last month was an amazing sight and I look forward to one day bringing HMS Prince of Wales home to the same warm welcome.

"Until then the ship's company in Rosyth will continue to grow and they have much to be proud of in all the work they have done so far, working with our civilian industry partners to bring this ship to life."

HMS Prince of wales

HMS Prince Of Wales-The Key Stats:

Cost Of Build: £3 billion

Length: 920 ft

Weight: 65,000 tonnes 

Range: 10,000 nautical miles

Crew: 679

Transport Capability: Able to carry 36 F35B Lightning II Jets, up to 12 Chinook or Merlin helicopters and 8 Apache attack helicopters.

Planned Date For Service: 2020

Weapons Systems: Phalanx Close-In Weapons System for anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence, 30mm Automated Small Calibre Guns and Miniguns.