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HMS Prince of Wales breaks down just after leaving Portsmouth

HMS Prince of Wales breaks down just after leaving Portsmouth

The Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales has broken down off the south coast shortly after embarking for exercises in the US. The 65,000-tonne warship left from Portsmouth Naval Base, Hampshire, on Saturday before an “emerging mechanical issue” occurred.

A Royal Navy spokeswoman said: “HMS Prince of Wales remains in the South Coast Exercise Area while conducting investigations into an emerging mechanical issue.”

The vessel’s departure had earlier been delayed from Friday, August 26, because of a technical issue. The Royal Navy was not able to offer any further details or confirm if the earlier technical issue was related to the mechanical problem.

The £3 billion carrier had a colourful send-off as it departed on Saturday afternoon and passed thousands of music-lovers at the Victorious music festival on Southsea Common in Portsmouth. Pop favourites Sugababes were in the middle of their set when the giant ship sailed past with the crew lining the flight deck to get a view of the festival.

The Nato flagship is sailing to undertake training exercises with the US Navy as well as the Royal Canadian Navy and United States Marine Corps. The programme is expected to include exercises with the F-35B Lightning jets.

A Royal Navy spokesman said on Saturday that the ship would cross the Atlantic with her task group, “ready to push the boundaries of un-crewed technology and the tactics used by the UK’s two new Queen Elizabeth-class carriers”.

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