HMS Prince of Wales: More faults found with Royal Navy warship as full investigation nears conclusion

MORE faults have been found on a broken Royal Navy warship as an investigation continues.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Repairs are continuing on HMS Prince of Wales after problems were first reported in the summer. The £3bn vessel broke down on the coast of the Isle of Wight in August, on its way out of Portsmouth.

It was confirmed by the Royal Navy that the starboard propeller had malfunctioned – with the coupling that held it in place breaking. She remained in place until October, before being taken to Rosyth in Scotland for repairs.

Problems have been reported with the portside shaft on HMS Prince of Wales. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.Problems have been reported with the portside shaft on HMS Prince of Wales. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.
Problems have been reported with the portside shaft on HMS Prince of Wales. Picture: Lisa Ferguson.
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At a defence select committee on Tuesday, Vice Admiral Paul Marshall confirmed problems have also been discovered on the portside shaft. He said: ‘I can confirm that the work on the HMS Prince of Wales starboard shaft is expected to be completed in Spring this year.

‘That will allow her to return to Portsmouth for a pre-planned maintenance period, and re-join operations in Autumn this year. We’ve done a check with HMS Queen Elizabeth and don’t believe there is an issue with the shafts.

‘With the defects to the Prince of Wales shaft, we have done appropriate checks on the portside shaft and found similar issues, and we will be repairing the portside shaft at the same time as the starboard shaft.’

When asked by the committee how it happened, he said the Royal Navy are carrying out a full investigation into the root cause of the failure. ’That investigation is nearing completion but it would be inappropriate of me to discuss the conclusions ahead of briefing our own ministers and the Ministry of Defence (MoD),’ VA Marshall added.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Asked what the fundamental problem with the £3 billion warship was, he said: ‘The investigation is getting to the root cause of the failure, while at the same looking at how we conduct operations and maintenance in the carriers, and how we manage the material state of the carriers.

‘That will be part of the investigation.’ The Vice Admiral was also questioned about why HMS Prince of Wales keeps breaking down, with problems dating back to 2019 and 2020.

He said he is ‘confident’ the investigation will identify the lessons needed to repair the ship and to improve maintenance. The committee asked to see the full report after ministers have been briefed.