The Royal Navy’s QE-class aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales will be forced to miss out on a training deployment to the US after experiencing another flood at its Portsmouth homeport.
The repairs that will be required following the flood will take “at least six months” to complete, according to local reports. The ship’s engine room and electrical cabinets spent over 24 hours submerged in sea water following the flood. According to the reports, the cause of the flood was a burst fire main.
This is the second such failure onboard the ship since it first arrived in Portsmouth in November 2019. The first flood took place in May this year and was described by the navy as a “minor issue.”
Just like its sister ship previously, HMS Prince of Wales was expected to sail to the US for trials with the F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) jets it will operate from its flight deck. It is unclear at the moment by how long the deployment will be delayed.
HMS Prince of Wales first took to sea in September 2019 and completed first sea trials before making her first entry to Portsmouth harbor in mid-November. HMS Queen Elizabeth, the lead ship in the class, is preparing to start her first-ever operational deployment next year.