An 11,200 tonne aircraft carrier section has taken to the water for the first time in Glasgow, marking a significant moment in the block build stage of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier programme.

Lower Block 04 is the largest hull section of HMS Prince of Wales contains the hangar, machinery space, mission systems compartments and accommodation.

A single remote control device and nearly 2,000 wheels were used to move it out of the ship build hall in Govan for the first time before it was driven carefully onto a sea-going barge.

It will now be sea-fastened ahead of its first voyage later in August to Rosyth where final assembly is taking place.

Mick Ord, Managing Director of BAE Systems Naval Ships, said:

“This is a significant moment as we approach the final block construction stages, but there’s still much more work to be done on this programme as we support the assembly, outfitting, mission system integration and trials over the coming years with our partners at Rosyth.”

Lower Block 04 is 20 metres high, 80 metres long and comprises a fifth of the overall aircraft carrier and is already significantly larger than the Type 45 destroyers, which were the last vessels to be delivered to the Royal Navy from Glasgow.

The aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are being delivered by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a unique partnering relationship between the Ministry of Defence, BAE Systems, Thales UK and Babcock.

The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers will be the centre piece of Britain’s military capability.

Each 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier will provide the armed forces with a four acre military operating base which can be deployed worldwide.

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