UK aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, breaks down off South Coast

The aircraft carrier, which was first launched in 2017, broke down shortly after setting sail from Portsmouth on Saturday afternoon.

ANIUpdated: Monday, August 29, 2022, 09:54 AM IST
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UK aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, breaks down off South Coast | Representative image —ANI

London: The British HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier, the United Kingdom's largest warship, broke down soon after leaving the Portsmouth port in southern England, UK media reports said.

The aircraft carrier, which was first launched in 2017, broke down shortly after setting sail from Portsmouth on Saturday afternoon.

"HMS Prince of Wales remains in the South Coast Exercise Area while conducting investigations into an emerging mechanical issue," a Royal Navy spokesperson told UK Defense Journal, which was the first to report the breakdown.

The Royal Navy is now carrying out "investigations into an emerging mechanical issue," a spokesperson said as quoted by The Guardian.

The USD 3.5-billion, 65,000-tonne warship was on its way for a four-month deployment to the United States when it broke down and now remains in the south coast exercise area near the Isle of Wight, the newspaper said.

According to the Navy Lookout online publication, the damage was reported to one of the propeller shafts of HMS Prince of Wales, and divers have been inspecting the aircraft carrier.

This is not the first incident with the aircraft carrier.

Back in 2020, HMS Prince of Wales, Nato's flagship carrier, was out of order for six months due to flooding of its engine room. Then the planned departure of the ship to the United States had to be cancelled and it was stranded in Portsmouth.

During its first two years in service, HMS Prince of Wales reportedly spent fewer than 90 days at sea, according to The Guardian.

As things stand, the aircraft carrier is expected to stay anchored while it undergoes repairs and will then resume travelling to North America to train alongside its counterparts in the US and Canada.

"Taking the HMS Prince of Wales task group across the Atlantic for the rest of this year will not only push the boundaries of UK carrier operations, but will reinforce our close working relationship with our closest Ally," the UK commanding officer said in a statement.

"From operating the F35 Lightnings and drones to hosting the Atlantic Future Forum, none of this would be possible without the efforts of the amazing sailors on board, many of which are on their first deployment with the Royal Navy," he added.

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