Aircraft carrier portion to sail down the Clyde

Photo by John Linton
Photo by John Linton

Maritime enthusiasts may flock to the Clyde this weekend as an 11,200 tonne aircraft carrier section departs from BAE Systems’ Govan yard.

Lower Block 04 is the largest hull section of HMS Prince of Wales, and it leaves the city at around 11am on Sunday before sailing under the Erskine Bridge, on to Greenock and then around the north coast of Scotland to Rosyth — a five day journey.

The portion is 20 metres high, 80 metres long and comprises a fifth of the overall aircraft carrier.

Its departure marks one of the final and most significant moments in the block build stage of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier programme, with two smaller sections scheduled to leave by the end of the year.

Some 2,500 employees, family and friends will gather at the Govan yard on Saturday to bid farewell during a Family Fun Day, with Fire Bridge, Royal Navy Reserves, Army Reserves, Fairfield Heritage Centre and Maritime Museum representatives also attending.

Timings for Lower Block 04’s departure are subject to change, but you can follow its journey via live updates on Twitter @baes_maritime.