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HMS Prince of Wales breaks down a day after starting deployment to US

HMS Prince of Wales
HMS Prince of Wales departing Portsmouth on August 27 to begin Westlant 2022 deployment. Photo: Royal Navy

Just a day after getting underway for a high-profile deployment to the United States, the second of the Royal Navy’s two aircraft carriers is stuck at sea after experiencing a technical issue.

HMS Prince of Wales is at anchor off the Isle of Wight where divers are inspecting the ship.

According to local reports, the ship’s starboard propeller shaft might have suffered unspecified damages.

“The ship is receiving external support for ongoing investigations. Having successfully sailed from Portsmouth, HMS Prince of Wales remains in the South Coast exercise area. We expect her to continue her Westlant 22 deployment as planned in the coming days, Navy Lookout quoted a spokesperson as saying.

HMS Prince of Wales departed Plymouth on Saturday to sail to the US east coast for F-35B und UAS trials.

Should it be able to continue its deployment as planned, HMS Prince of Wales will spend the next three months underway with port stops in New York, Halifax in Canada, and the Caribbean.

While in New York, HMS Prince of Wales is expected to host the Atlantic Future Forum – a conference that brings together the brightest minds and most influential thinkers from defense and beyond to strengthen UK and US bonds.

It remains to be seen how this technical defect will affect the ship’s schedule, if at all. This is not the first time the carrier has been sidelined by serious technical issues.

HMS Prince of Wales was forced to miss out on a training deployment to the US in 2020 after experiencing consecutive floods while moored in Portsmouth.

During the second flood, the ship’s engine room and electrical cabinets spent over 24 hours submerged in sea water. According to reports at the time, the cause of the flood was a burst fire main.