Aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales’ flight deck is back ‘open for business’

Shutterstock / AlanMorris

The United Kingdom’s aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, is finally on its way back to Portsmouth after nine months of repairs in Scotland.  

The British Royal Navy confirmed the news on social media, posting that the aircraft carrier’s flight deck was back “open for business.” 

“Good morning aviators, this is your carrier speaking. Please fasten your seatbelts, return the tray tables to their locked and upright positions and prepare for landing(s),” a Top Gun-inspired post read on HMS Prince of Wales’ Twitter page.  

The tweet also tagged RNAS Yeovilton and RNAS Culdrose, suggesting the first arrivals on the aircraft carrier could be helicopters.  

On July 21, 2023, HMS Prince of Wales was moved out of dry dock in Rosyth and has been undergoing propulsion trials. 

In August 2022, two days after it left the port of Portsmouth for the Westland 22 exercise with the US Navy, the US Marine Corps, and the Royal Canadian Navy, the aircraft carrier suffered a failure of its starboard propeller shaft line. On October 12, 2022, the warship returned to Rosyth Dockyard where it was originally constructed.   

Once in Portsmouth, HMS Prince of Wales will prepare for an autumn deployment to the USA. 

“We are returning HMS Prince of Wales to operations as the most advanced warship ever built for the Royal Navy,” Captain Richard Hewitt, Commanding Officer of HMS Prince of Wales said.  

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