UK’s biggest warship breaks down just one day after setting off for the US

Britain's biggest warship has already broken down just one day into its voyage to the US. The Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales left from Portsmouth Naval Base, Hampshire, on Saturday but soon afterwards encountered a "emerging mechanical issue" off the south coast. Weighing a staggering 65,000 tonnes and costing GBP3billion, the warship had planned to set sail across the Atlantic for training exercises with the US Navy alongside the Royal Canadian Navy and United States Marine Corps.

It will now remain in the designated South Coast Exercise Area in the English Channel while mechanics continue to operate on the vessel.

Batman-style GBP1.3m submarine with folding wings and adaptive lighting goes on saleundefinedThe GBP3billion HMS Prince of Wales has broken down just one day into a transatlantic voyageThe GBP3billion HMS Prince of Wales has broken down just one day into a transatlantic voyage (Shaun Roster / SWNS)

The HMS Prince of Wales' original departure date had been moved back one day because of a technical issue, though the Royal Navy did not confirm if this was related to the current problem. Its rescheduled launch day from Portsmouth on Saturday coincided with the city's Victorious music festival on Southsea Common, creating an amusing spectacle for both fans and crew at one point in the afternoon. The navy ship moved past the seaside event just in time for when Sugababes came on stage, resulting in crew members lining across the deck to hear some hits from the 2000s girl group.

The UK plane carrier had been scheduled to join training exercises with the US Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and US Marine CorpThe UK plane carrier had been scheduled to join training exercises with the US Navy, Royal Canadian Navy and US Marine Corp (Shaun Roster / SWNS)

Speaking at the weekend prior to its departure, a Royal Navy spokesman said: "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.

Fleet flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth is also set to deploy to the Mediterranean and Baltic this autumn as part of a Royal Navy task group, meaning both UK aircraft carriers will be operating F-35B jets thousands of miles apart.

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