HMS Prince of Wales turns heads during exercise in South Devon
HMS Prince of Wales – one of the most powerful surface warships ever built in the UK – has caught the eye off the south Devon coast. The giant aircraft carrier is in Lyme Bay preparing to take part in multinational exercises.
The huge vessel has caught the eye of ship watchers along the coast, and a number of photos have appeared in the Ships in Torbay and Lyme Bay Facebook group
Her flight deck is 70 meters wide and 280 meters long – enough space for three football pitches – and she has 45 days worth of food in store.
She has a crew of around 700, increasing to around 1,600 with aircraft on board.
HMS Prince of Wales can carry 36 F-35B jets and four Merlin helicopters.
Last week it hosted a ceremony in which the Royal Navy took charge of NATO’s largest task force.
For the next 12 months, he is responsible for leading the alliance’s High Readiness Maritime Force – an international task force formed to deal with major world events.
HMS Prince of Wales is NATO’s command ship, ready to deploy in support of NATO exercises and operations throughout the year.
These will include major training for British and Allied forces in the Arctic in late winter, the Baltic in summer and a large deployment to the Mediterranean in the fall.
The ship will spend more than 200 days at sea this year.
The first step is to lead naval participation in Cold Response 22, a large-scale NATO exercise led by Norway.