The Broken Prince of Whales

I finished posting around five and read this on my cellphone. There will always be trouble. British Royalty used to be able to – handle it. Now, there is just Ian Flemming……and I.

John

UK’s defective Nato flagship could miss ‘landmark’ flight trials

HMS Prince of Wales retreats to sheltered anchorage for repairs after propeller malfunction, risking cross-Atlantic date with allies

HMS Prince of Wales returns to the Solent off Portsmouth after breaking down off the Isle of Wight.
HMS Prince of Wales returns to waters near Portsmouth after breaking down off the Isle of Wight. Photograph: Ben Mitchell/PA

Nadeem BadshahMon 29 Aug 2022 18.23 EDT

Britain’s biggest warship could miss important flight trials with jets off the US coast after it suffered a propeller shaft malfunction shortly after setting sail, the Royal Navy has said.

HMS Prince of Wales, a £3bn aircraft carrier, left Portsmouth naval base on Saturday and suffered an “emerging mechanical issue” off the south-east coast of the Isle of Wight.

The departure of the Nato flagship had already been delayed from Friday because of a technical problem, although it is not known if the incidents were related.

Shortly after the 65,000-tonne vessel sailed on Saturday, a mechanical fault was discovered with the starboard shaft.

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The 930-foot carrier had been scheduled to undertake trials with F-35B Lightning jets in the US during the four-month deployment.

Rear Admiral Steve Moorhouse, director of Force Generation, who is responsible for ensuring Royal Navy ships are ready to deploy, said in a video statement: “I’ve been to the ship today to see for myself what the issue is and how we in the Royal Navy can work together to make sure the ship can successfully return to her tasking.

“After the initial assessment, it’s likely that the fault will require repairs which may impact the ship’s programme. The ship is now moving to a more sheltered anchorage for further inspection and then we’ll be able to provide further comment on the nature of the issue and the impact to her current schedule.

“We’ve reacted quickly to the emergent defect and are working closely with industry partners to resolve this as soon as we can. Rest assured, the Royal Navy continues to meet its commitments to deliver operations and to keep the UK, our partners and allies safe.”

The Nato flagship was sailing to undertake training exercises with the US Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy and the US Marine Corps.

The “landmark” mission aimed to shape the future of stealth jet and drone operations off the coast of North America and in the Caribbean.

Specialist website Navy Lookout said a photograph of the carrier leaving Portsmouth showed a wake only on the port side, suggesting a problem with the other propeller shaft.

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It added that unless the problem can be resolved at sea the warship might need to go into dry dock at Rosyth, Scotland, months earlier than a planned inspection in 2023.

The carrier had been given a colourful send-off as it departed on Saturday afternoon and passed thousands of music lovers at the Victorious festival on Southsea Common in Portsmouth.

HMS Prince of Wales, which became fully operational only last year, was commissioned at a ceremony in Portsmouth attended by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in 2019.

HMS Prince of Wales commissioning ceremony held in Portsmouth

  • Published10 December 2019

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Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall
Image caption,The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall attended the ceremony in Portsmouth

The Royal Navy’s £3.1bn new aircraft carrier has been commissioned at a ceremony in Portsmouth attended by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

They inspected a royal guard made up by the ship’s company, as part of the event at the city’s naval dockyard.

The Duchess of Cornwall, who is the ship’s sponsor, told the gathering of about 3,000 people that it is “the beginning of an exciting new era in our long naval history”.

Commissioning ceremony
Image caption,The ceremony heard music from the Band of the Royal Marines

The hoisting of the white ensign officially designated the ship as part of the Royal Navy’s operational fleet.

The carrier, which is taller than Nelson’s Column and has a flight deck the size of three football pitches, will have at least 700 people serving on board and the capacity to hold around 1,600 personnel.

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A service was conducted by the chaplain of the fleet, with music from the Band of the Royal Marines.

Raining White Ensign
Image caption,Members of the ship’s company raised the white ensign

The carrier is the eighth Royal Navy vessel to bear the name HMS Prince of Wales.

The 65,000-tonne warship was united with its sister ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth earlier this month, when the older of the pair returned from the US, where it had been carrying out trials of its F35B Lightning jet fighters.

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HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Queen Elizabeth
Image caption,HMS Queen Elizabeth, right, returned to its home port last week

The two 919ft (280m) long aircraft carriers, which cost £3.1lbn each, are expected to be in service for the next 50 years and are the largest and most advanced warships ever built for the navy.

Major upgrade work has been carried out on the jetties at Portsmouth to allow the ships to berth beside each other.

The duchess’ role as sponsor is “akin to being a godmother”, according to a navy spokeswoman, and means she will attend significant events “during the life of the ship”.

https://emp.bbc.com/emp/SMPj/2.45.0/iframe.htmlMedia caption,

HMS Prince of Wales commissioning ceremony held in Portsmouth

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