LONDON: the largest in the UK aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Walesbroke down off the south coast of England after leaving Portsmouth Naval Base for the United States on what the Royal Navy described as a “historic” aeronautical test mission.
The warship is said to have encountered an “emerging mechanical problem” and the issue is being investigated. The £3billion carrier, which became fully operational last year, is believed to be anchored in the southeast of the Isle of Wight while the investigation is ongoing.
“HMS Prince of Wales remains in the south coast exercise area while investigating an emerging mechanical issue,” a Royal Navy spokesman said.
The problem was first reported by the UK Defense Journal, an online news site focusing on defense issues, which cited unconfirmed reports of damage to the starboard propeller shaft.
On Saturday, the Royal Navy announced the warship was leaving for the United States to “shape the future of stealth aircraft and drone operations” off the coast of North America and the Caribbean.
“Taking the HMS Prince of Wales Task Force across the Atlantic for the remainder of this year will not only push the limits of UK carrier operations, but will strengthen our close working relationship with our closest ally,” said Commander, Captain Richard Hewitt.
“From operating the F35 Lightnings and drones to hosting the Atlantic Future Forum, none of this would be possible without the efforts of the incredible sailors on board, many of whom are on their first deployment with the Royal Navy. “, did he declare.
The 65,000 tonne warship was initially due to deploy alongside the frigate HMS Richmond, the RFA tanker Tideforce and an air group of helicopters and drones, before F-35B stealth fighters joined the deployment a times the ship arrived in North America for the Westlant 22 deployment.
According to the Royal Navy, HMS Prince of Wales was expected to remain at high readiness throughout her mission to America in her role as the North Atlantic Organization (NATO) command ship, which sees her leading the naval element of the alliance response force that is able to deploy rapidly anywhere in the world to respond to crises.
The deployment is said to build on the close collaboration between the US Navy, Marine Corps and Royal Navy, from Westlant’s previous deployments to US participation throughout last year’s first deployment of the group of strike from the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, which also visited India last year.
While in New York, HMS Prince of Wales is set to host the Atlantic Future Forum – a conference that brings together “the brightest minds and most influential thinkers in defense and beyond to strengthen ties between the Kingdom United and the United States”. They are expected to discuss the ever-changing picture of international security and the technologies that will define the next decade and beyond, the Royal Navy said.



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