HMS Prince of Wales to be moved for further inspection after breaking down off the South coast

Credit: Ministry of Defence

The Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales is being moved for further investigation to take place after breaking down off the south coast.

The 65,000-tonne warship left from Portsmouth Naval Base, Hampshire, on Saturday headed towards the US. before an "emerging mechanical issue" occurred.

The vessel's departure had earlier been delayed from Friday, August 26, because of a technical issue.

On Monday afternoon the Royal Navy said HMS Prince of Wales was in the process of being moved to a different anchorage so further examinations can take place.

"We are in the process of moving her to a different anchorage which is better suited to allow for further inspection of the ship

"Right now our focus is on the ship and our people; everyone is working hard to understand the problem and what can be done next."

The 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.

Festival goers at the Victorious Festival gave the carrier a colourful send-off on Saturday afternoon Credit: Ben Mitchell/PA

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: "HMS Prince of Wales will 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.

"Along with notable port stops in New York, Halifax in Canada, and the Caribbean, the next three months will see the Prince of Wales task group work closely with US allies, operating F-35B jets and un-crewed systems which will define Royal Navy aviation of the future.

"With fleet flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth also set to deploy to the Mediterranean and Baltic this autumn at the heart of a potent Royal Navy task group, it will mean both UK aircraft carriers will be operating F-35B jets thousands of miles apart."