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Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales spent fewer than 90 days at sea in 2 YEARS

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Revealed: Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales spent fewer than 90 days at sea in TWO YEARS after springing leaks twice in five months

  • The HMS Prince of Wales has spent a third of the time her sister ship has at sea 
  • Vessel is now stranded in Portsmouth harbour after two leaks in five months  
  • It has been banned from setting sail from its home port on safety grounds 

Britain’s newest aircraft carrier the HMS Prince of Wales spent just 87 days at sea during its first two years in service, it has been revealed. 

The vessel will now be stranded in Portsmouth until May next year after flooding wrecked the vessel’s vital electrical systems last month.

It has been banned from setting sail from its home port on safety grounds after thousands of gallons of sea water poured into the engine room for more than 24 hours in early December.

It came just months after the £3.1billion state-of-the-art ship, which was due to depart for the U.S. to carry out tests with the F-35 stealth jets this year, was flooded to the depth of 3ft after a water leak in the engine room in May.     

Because of this the HMS Prince of Wales has spent just 87 days at sea – a third of the time of her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth, reports The Telegraph.   

Britain’s newest aircraft carrier the HMS Prince of Wales has spent just 87 days at sea during its first two years in service, it has been revealed 

Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey confirmed in a letter to Labour MP Kevan Jones that the ship was at sea for 57 days in 2019 and just 30 days last year. 

This compares with HMS Queen Elizabeth, which spent 116 days at sea in 2019 and 115 days at sea in 2020. 

Engineers assessed miles of cables inside the vessel after the flooding left the aircraft carrier’s electrical cabinets submerged underwater last month. 

The cost of repairing the Prince of Wales after the flood damage is estimated to be £3.3million.       

The vessel will now be stranded in Portsmouth until May next year after flooding wrecked the vessel's vital electrical systems last month. Pictured in March

The vessel will now be stranded in Portsmouth until May next year after flooding wrecked the vessel’s vital electrical systems last month. Pictured in March 

Mr Jones told the publication: ‘It is a significant concern that Prince of Wales has not had the period at sea that it was projected to.

‘Carrier Strike Group is central to our maritime posture, and efforts must now be made to ensure Prince of Wales is made available as soon as possible in order for joint-US operations be go ahead on schedule.’      

In May, the Royal Navy launched an investigation after a pipe leaked on the £3billion HMS Prince of Wales warship and caused an ankle-high flood.

In May, the Royal Navy launched an investigation after a pipe leaked on the £3billion HMS Prince of Wales warship and caused an ankle-high flood

The water almost reached the height of the seats

In May, the Royal Navy launched an investigation after a pipe leaked on the £3billion HMS Prince of Wales warship and caused an ankle-high flood 

The leak was said to have taken place on the 65,000-ton aircraft carrier while it was at Portsmouth Naval Base.

A video later posted on the Facebook showed water gushing through the ceiling and flooding an entire room of the warship.  

It is understood that the pipe was isolated quickly and the water was soon mopped up by the crew on board. 

The Royal Navy later said it was testing its safety systems including the deployment of life rafts and emergency chutes following the flood.

The cost of repairing the Prince of Wales after the flood damage is estimated to be £3.3million

The cost of repairing the Prince of Wales after the flood damage is estimated to be £3.3million

A Royal Navy spokesman said at the time: ‘Following a minor issue with an internal system on HMS Prince of Wales, the ship’s company were required to remove a small volume of water from the ship. 

‘An investigation into the cause is now under way but this will not affect the ship’s programme.’     

In response to the number of days the vessel has had at sea, a Royal Navy spokesman said: ‘HMS Prince of Wales is at an early stage of its planned 50-year lifespan. 

‘The ship was always scheduled to spend much of 2020 in Portsmouth as part of planned equipment enhancements to ensure it is ready for operations.

‘Further capability upgrades, trials and training are programmed for 2021 and the ship is on course to be operational as expected.’

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