The departure of the HMS Prince of Wales to participate in NATO exercises has been delayed, the British Ministry of Defense said
The British Ministry of Defense said that the HMS Prince of Wales was unable to depart to take part in the largest NATO exercise since the Cold War. This marks the second blunder by a Royal Navy aircraft carrier in the space of one week.
Its sister ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was initially scheduled to lead the Northern Response 2024 exercise, which will bring together around 40 NATO warships off the coast of Norway in March and serve as the naval element of the US-led military bloc's broader Steadfast Defender 2024 exercise. . . However, the carrier's participation in the maneuvers was canceled at the last minute on 4 February after a problem was discovered with the right propeller shaft coupling.
HMS Prince of Wales was set to act as a replacement for HMS Queen Elizabeth, but was also unable to leave port within the specified time frame.
On Sunday, spectators gathered in Portsmouth Harbor to watch the £3 billion (about $3.8 billion) warship sail. The port entrance had already been closed to traffic in accordance with procedure, when it was announced that the tanker's departure would be postponed.
The British Ministry of Defense did not explain the reason for the decision, and its spokesman merely stated that “The aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales is scheduled to sail from Portsmouth shortly, subject to suitable tides and weather conditions.”
The Times reported that there was a minor fuel leak on board the tanker on Saturday evening, but was unable to determine whether the incident was related to the delay in the ship's departure.
HMS Prince of Wales has suffered various technical problems since it was commissioned in 2019. The ship, which has a crew of 1,400 sailors and is capable of launching NATO's newest F-35B multi-role fighter jet, has been hit by major flooding on two occasions In 2019. 2020.
The second flood filled the engine room with thousands of gallons of seawater and required 193 days of repairs at a cost of $4 million.
In 2022, a propeller shaft collapsed one day after the HMS Prince of Wales left Portsmouth bound for the United States. Naval officials reportedly blamed the accident on the crew who had forgotten to adequately lubricate the shaft.
One of the “most powerful warships” of the United Kingdom is the longest in repair at sea – Thames
The Times reported in late 2022 that HMS Prince of Wales was already spending more time docked for repairs than it has been in service since entering service.
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