Britain’s flagship aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales replaced for US visit after breakdown

One of the two British aircraft carriers suffered “significant damage” to its propeller shaft and will no longer sail to the United States to undertake training exercises, Britain’s Royal Navy has announced.

HMS Prince of Wales, its new carrier which was not officially commissioned until December 2019, broke down off the south coast of England last week at the start of its transatlantic voyage.

In an embarrassing development, he was to take part in what the British Navy had called a “historic mission” involving stealth aircraft and drone exercises off the coast of North America and in the Caribbean.

Rear Admiral Steve Moorhouse said his sister ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, will now replace the stricken vessel during certain elements of the tour, which includes diplomatic events.

It should also include exercises with F-35B Lightning jets.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is the flagship of Britain’s Carrier Strike Group which deployed to the Asia-Pacific region last year, will then sail to the Mediterranean and the Baltic for exercises scheduled for this autumn.

Admiral Moorhouse revealed that navy divers had inspected the 65,000 tonne, £3billion warship Prince of Wales, which sits in a bay near its base in Portsmouth, and found ” significant damage to the propeller shaft”.

“This is an extremely unusual fault and we continue to investigate all repair options,” he said in a video posted to the Royal Navy’s Twitter account, noting that it should “probably” happen. produce on a drydock.

“We will repair it, put it back on operations to protect the nation and our allies as soon as possible,” he added.

Updated: 03 September 2022, 00:40

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