HMS Prince of Wales returns to Portsmouth after suffering 'significant' damage to propeller

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Aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales sits off the coast of Gosport, Hampshire. Credit: PA Images

The HMS Prince of Wales has returned to Portsmouth for repairs after suffering "significant" damage to the shaft and propeller.

Royal Navy divers inspected the ship after she broke down off the Isle of Wight last Saturday (27 August).

She and her crew had set off to join operations in the US, working to operate F-35B jets and uncrewed systems.

Along with propeller damage, superficial damage was also found to the rudder, but no other damage to the rest of the ship.

Rear Admiral Steve Moorhouse said: "The coupling which joins the final two sections of the shaft has failed."

It has been described as an 'extremely unusual fault'.

Once the shaft section and propeller have been stabilised, the ship will return to Portsmouth.

The ship will then "probably" need to enter a dry dock in order to carry out the repairs.

The Royal Navy confirmed that HMS Queen Elizabeth will depart Portsmouth next week to undertake some of duties intended for the Prince of Wales programme in the US.

Rear Admiral Steve Moorhouse added: "Our priority this week is to ensure the ship and her people are safe.

“We will repair her and get her back on operations, protecting the nation and our allies, as soon as possible.”

The Navy says her sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth, the fleet flagship, will sail next week to take over its US duties