The British Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales has broken down off the south coast of England shortly after setting sail for the United States for four months of military exercises.
The 65,000-ton warship, valued at £3 billion (€3.525 billion), departed the Portsmouth naval base in Hampshire on Saturday before an “emerging mechanical problem,” ‘The Guardian’ has reported, noting that the Navy has declined to comment further.
According to unconfirmed data, it is damage to the starboard propeller shaft. The incident is under investigation.
The carrier’s crew was due to cross the Atlantic–after stopping in Halifax, Canada; New York, United States; and the Caribbean–to train with the U.S. Army and Canada on a program involving F-35B aircraft and unmanned systems.
The ship’s departure had previously been delayed, as of Friday, August 26, due to a technical problem. It was previously stranded in Portsmouth in late 2020 after flooding in its engine room damaged the electrical system. In addition, during its first two years in service, the carrier spent less than 90 days at sea after two leaks occurred in five months.