UK’s Biggest Warship, HMS Prince of Wales, Breaks Down Shortly after it Sets Sail for the US

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The UK’s biggest warship, the HMS Prince of Wales, broke down off the southern coast of England shortly after it set sail for the US. This is the British Royal Navy’s one of the two aircraft carriers.

A spokesperson for the Royal Navy told Sky News that the aircraft carrier was experiencing an ‘emerging mechanical issue’. The issue is also being investigated.

The HMS Prince of Wales, which is worth £3bn, became fully operational last year. The 65,000-tonne warship is now anchored south east of the Isle of Wight as teams carry out a probe.

“HMS Prince of Wales remains in the South Coast Exercise Area while conducting investigations into an emerging mechanical issue,” the Royal Navy spokesperson was quoted as saying by Sky News.

A defence news website, the UK Defence Journal, said the HMS Prince of Wales encountered damage to the starboard propeller shaft but those reports were not confirmed. Another website, the Navy Lookout, said the aircraft carrier suffered a “significant technical fault”

The commentators highlighted that if more issues of serious nature emerged it would be unfortunate for the Royal Navy.

The HMS Prince of Wales departed from the city of Portsmouth on Saturday. It was headed towards North America and the Caribbean coast where it was expected to carry out stealth jet and drone drills. The trip – in case it restarts – would see the aircraft carrier visit New York, Halifax in Canada and the Caribbean.

It would also carry out drills with fifth generation F-35 fast jets off the deck as well as drones.

“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,” Commanding Officer, Captain Richard Hewitt, said in a statement ahead of its departure.

The F-35 warplanes would have joined the ship once it reached the United States. The HMS Prince of Wales, which also heads a carrier task group, is deployed with a frigate, tanker and an air group of helicopters and drones.

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