Royal Navy's second aircraft carrier floated out of dock
HMS Prince of Wales had just 18 inches of clearance on either side at Rosyth.
The Royal Navy's second new aircraft carrier has been floated out of its dock in Rosyth.
HMS Prince of Wales was moved out of its dock and towed to a nearby jetty at the Fife shipyard on Thursday.
The two-hour operation involved eight tugs, which manoeuvred the 65,000-tonne warship out with just 18 inches of clearance on either side.
The team constructing the vessel will now continue to outfit the ship ahead of sea trials expected in 2019.
Earlier in the week, it emerged the Royal Navy's first aircraft carrier had sprung a leak around a propeller shaft seal.
The flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth, a sister ship to HMS Prince of Wales, is understood to have been leaking for some time.
Each ship costs around £3bn and they are designed to be in service for 50 years.
The Royal Navy said the "undocking" of the second aircraft carrier took place ahead of schedule.
Its dry dock was filled with water on Wednesday night before the 920ft vessel was towed out.
The team building the ship said it was a significant milestone in its progress.
Sir Simon Lister, managing director of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, said: "2017 has been a remarkable year for the 10,000 men and women who have been involved in the design and construction of the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers.
"This milestone marks a significant moment in HMS Prince of Wales' build programme and I would like to pay tribute to all those who have dedicated their efforts to this great national endeavor.
"The ship is already benefiting from the lessons learned in the construction of HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is testament to the skills of the British shipbuilding industry and proves that we still have what it takes to be a great maritime industrial nation."