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UK’s Biggest Warship Is Headed to New York, Ready to Play With Fighter Jets and Drones

Some of the sailors onboard HMS Prince of Wales are about to see New York for the first time, and they couldn’t be more excited. But this is by no means a pleasure trip. The British Navy’s newest and biggest aircraft carrier kicked off an important deployment that will have it cruising across the Atlantic, strengthening the cooperation with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
HMS Prince of Wales is headed to New York 7 photos
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Last year, the naval cooperation between the UK and U.S. reached two milestones. First, Britain’s HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier strike group was on its maiden deployment, with the American military playing an important part in that. Also, F-35 Lightning aircraft landed on the deck of HMS Prince of Wales, the Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, for the first time, during the ship’s Sea Acceptance Trials.

This year, both of the Royal Navy’s most important carriers will be training with F-25B jets in different locations. HMS Queen Elizabeth will do that later this fall, in the Mediterranean and the Baltic, while HMS Prince of Wales has already departed Portsmouth, headed to New York. It’s joined by the HMS Richmond frigate, the RFA Tideforce tanker, plus helicopters and drones. Once they arrive in the U.S., the F-35B stealth fighter jets will also join them.

According to the Royal Navy, the upcoming trainings with fighter jets and unmanned aircraft are part of “landmark aviation trials” for its fleet. In addition to that, while at New York, the HMS Prince of Wales is where the Atlantic Future Forum will be held, a conference that’s also meant to enhance the U.S.-UK cooperation.

Like all the ships in the new Queen Elizabeth class, the 65,000-ton HMS Prince of Wales can receive 36 F-35B aircraft on its deck, in addition to the Chinook helicopter in its hangar. Together with HMS Queen Elizabeth, they are considered the most powerful surface warships ever built for the Royal Navy.

press release

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