Two halves of second UK aircraft carrier joined into a 38,500 ton superblock

The second Royal Navy flagship aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales , has passed a significant milestone after the two halves of the ship were joined together in a record feat of precision engineering.

More than 26,500 tonnes of the forward half of the ship were mechanically skidded back 17 metres to join on to the 12,000-tonne “superblock” which makes up the rear of the vessel.

A specialised hydraulic system was used for the 10-hour operation at Babcock in Rosyth, Fife.

This resulted in a perfect joining of the two halves of the ship, with less than a 3mm tolerance down the centre line.

MS Prince of Wales is the second of the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers to be built for the UK, after the 65,000-tonne HMS Queen Elizabeth.

They are the largest British warships ever constructed, and can be used for a range of military activity from war fighting to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.