London: The British Royal Navy’s HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier broke down off the south coast of England shortly after embarking for exercises in the United States.
The 65,000-tonne warship departed from Portsmouth Naval Base, Hampshire, on Saturday before an “emerging mechanical problem” arose, news agency dpa reported on Monday.
A Royal Navy spokeswoman said: ‘HMS Prince of Wales remains in the South Coast Exercise Area whilst investigating an emerging mechanical issue.
The ship’s departure had been delayed from August 26 due to a technical problem.
The Royal Navy was unable to offer further details or confirm whether the earlier technical issue was related to the mechanical issue.
The £3 billion ($3.5 billion) carrier had a colorful 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 favorites The Sugababes were in the middle of their set when the giant ship passed with the crew lined up on the flight deck for 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 US Marine Corps.
The program should include exercises with the F-35B Lightning jets.
A Royal Navy spokesman said on Saturday: ‘HMS Prince of Wales will sail across the Atlantic with her task force, ready to push the boundaries of unmanned technology and tactics used by Britain’s two new aircraft carriers. of the Queen Elizabeth class.
“In addition to notable stops in New York, Halifax in Canada and the Caribbean, the next three months will see the Prince of Wales task force working closely with US allies, operating F-35B jets and unmanned systems that will define Royal Naval Aviation of the future.
“With the flagship of the fleet, HMS Queen Elizabeth, also due to deploy to the Mediterranean and Baltic this autumn at the heart of a powerful Royal Navy task force, it will mean that the two British aircraft carriers will operate F-35B jets thousands of miles apart.”