Human error to blame for UK aircraft carrier breakdown – Telegraph
Human error may have led to Britain’s new HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier breaking down on Saturday, The Telegraph reported on Tuesday, citing anonymous sources.
According to the article, the naval officials who inspected the warship drew a preliminary conclusion regarding the cause of the incident, in which the vessel ground to a halt off the Isle of Wight.
“The propeller shaft may have been damaged by a lack of lubrication,” the media outlet reported, citing its sources. The paper went on to claim that the vital part could have been damaged by overheating caused by friction.
According to The Telegraph, the aircraft carrier may have to spend some time in dry dock for a thorough inspection and repairs, with a senior defense source quoted as saying that any “significant damage to the starboard shaft” would prove to be a “major problem to fix.”
Rear Admiral Steve Moorhouse, the director of Force Generation, which is responsible for ensuring that Royal Navy ships are ready to deploy, acknowledged in a video statement that the Prince of Wales might not be ready in time to sail across the Atlantic to take part in the planned drills with the US Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy, and the US Marine Corps.
“After the initial assessment, it’s likely that the fault will require repairs which may impact the ship’s program,” the official said.
Commenting on the “emerging mechanical issue” which befell the warship just hours after it sailed for the military exercises on August 27, former First Sea Lord Admiral Lord West described the situation as “extremely unfortunate” and an “embarrassment” to Britain.
West told the media that “you’d think when they were doing trials they might have spotted” that the propeller shaft had not been lubricated properly.
The HMS Prince of Wales became fully operational last year, requiring £3.3 million in repairs after a previous incident in 2020, which saw water wreak havoc on its electronics in the engine room.
During its two-year life, the warship has spent a total of 87 days at sea.