The aircraft carrier is expected to arrive in Gibraltar on Tuesday in what will be the vessels first port visit outside of the United Kingdom.
INAUGURAL VISIT BY HMS PRINCE OF WALES TO GIBRALTAR— Your Gibraltar TV (@YourGibraltarTV) July 5, 2021
The HMS PRINCE OF WALES aircraft carrier will arrive in Gibraltar tomorrow for a programmed logistics visit. This inaugural visit to Gibraltar will also be her first non-UK port visit. pic.twitter.com/d5DG5feHPj
The visit will be the second time a Queen Elizabeth class carrier has visited the British Overseas Territory with HMS Queen Elizabeth having visited previously, plus recently sailing by with her Carrier Strike Group.
What has the ship been up to?
HMS Prince of Wales recently embarked her first F-35 jet.
For @HMSPWLS, the first jet landing is another step on the road to full operating capability.— Commander UK Carrier Strike Group (@smrmoorhouse) June 9, 2021
For Britain, it’s one step closer to a continuous carrier strike capability.
Few other navies can do that. Britain is back in the front rank of maritime powers. #CarrierStrike pic.twitter.com/eYo9iTEP5J
The Royal Navy said in a statement:
“An F-35B Lightning aircraft has landed onboard the Royal Navy’s latest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, for the first time. Taking place off the south coast of England, the milestone marks a significant step towards the 65,000-tonne vessel reaching full operational capability. Operating together as part of Sea Acceptance Trials, it is the first time a fixed wing aircraft has landed onboard HMS Prince of Wales. The trials test the ship’s capability to receive and launch aircraft whilst maintaining continuous air operations.”
656 Squadron and their Apache attack helicopters also recently joined HMS Prince of Wales for her sea trials. This was the first time the ship worked with Apache helicopters. The carrier also recently tested her three Phalanx guns as part of efforts to make the vessel operational.
207 Squadron F-35B pilot and the first to land onboard HMS Prince of Wales, Squadron Leader Will said:
“It was a real honour to be the first pilot to land the F-35B onboard HMS Prince of Wales. With all the training that we have previously undertaken with HMS Queen Elizabeth, we are now looking forward to using that experience and knowledge working with HMS Prince of Wales as she moves towards her full operational capability.”
The Royal Navy say that the carrier is undertaking a period of trials and training, establishing her lethality and ability to sustain operations.