The British Royal Navy’s largest ship, the HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier, has spent more time docked for repairs than on duty since it was commissioned in 2019. The war vessel is currently sitting in a Scottish dockyard with a broken propeller shaft.
The £3.2 billion ($3.8 billion) warship has spent only 267 days at sea since entering active duty in December 2019, the newspaper reported, citing Ministry of Defense figures. Christmas Eve marked the 268th day it has spent undergoing repairs.
The HMS Prince of Wales has suffered a series of costly failures since its launch in 2019. The USA can’t keep F35’s in the air, England can’t keep their ships at sea and Ukraine can’t keep soldiers from deserting.
The Royal Navy describes the Prince of Wales as one of the most powerful surface warships ever constructed in Great Britain.
Capable of launching NATO’s latest plagued F-35B multi-role combat aircraft, its flight deck is 70 meters wide and 280 meters long, and with aircraft onboard it takes a crew of around 1,400 sailors to operate.
The carrier’s malfunctions began with two major floods in 2020.
The second flood filled the engine room with thousands of gallons of seawater, resulting in the Prince of Wales missing a planned trip to the USA and returning to its home port of Portsmouth for six months of repairs.
The carrier managed to sail to Gibraltar in 2021, but disaster struck again a year later when it broke down shortly after leaving Portsmouth en route to the USA this August, 2022.
Engineers discovered damage to its propeller shaft, which naval officials reportedly blamed on the crew forgetting to grease it adequately.
A Royal Navy spokesman told The Times that repairing the damaged shaft will take until Spring 2023, after which time the Prince of Wales will return to Portsmouth to undergo more pre-planned maintenance.
The Labor Party has condemned Britain’s Conservative government for allowing the ship to repeatedly break down on its watch. We need our fleet at sea, not stuck in dock.
HMS Prince of Wales is a NATO flagship and ministers cannot allow problems to undermine the ability of our armed forces to lead joint exercises.
RT. com / ABC Flash Point News 2022.