HMS Prince of Wales: Repairs to Royal Navy warship exceeding £20m in cost, sources suggest

Repair work on a Royal Navy carrier could end up costing more than £20m.

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According to The Sunday Times, the cost of repairs to HMS Prince of Wales is continuing to rise – and the paper also suggests she’s going to be out of action for longer than first thought.

In August last year, the QE-class carrier was sailing out of Portsmouth when a malfunction hit near the Isle of Wight, prompting the warship to return to the naval base.

HMS Prince Of Wales preparing to enter Rosyth dock for repairs on October 11, 2022. Picture: Lisa FergusonHMS Prince Of Wales preparing to enter Rosyth dock for repairs on October 11, 2022. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
HMS Prince Of Wales preparing to enter Rosyth dock for repairs on October 11, 2022. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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Since then, the 65,000-tonne warship has been taken to a dry dock in Rosyth, Scotland, where it was discovered that a coupling that held the starboard propeller in place had malfunctioned.

Initially, it was believed that she would be back in action by spring, with her operational programme due to begin later this year. While the Royal Navy has told the UK Defence Journal that his remains on-track, there is no concrete indication of when HMS Prince of Wales will be back in the water.

It is also believed that the damage is restricted solely to Prince of Wales, as it’s not a class issue - so HMS Queen Elizabeth is unaffected.

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Speaking at a select committee meeting in Westminster, 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.’

A spokeswoman for the Royal Navy said: ‘We remain committed to ensuring HMS Prince of Wales commences her operational programme, as planned, in Autumn 2023. This will include operational flying training and trials.

‘Our focus has been on achieving an expedient repair, including pre-emptive work on the port shaft, whilst maximising opportunities for capability upgrades to ensure HMS Prince of Wales is prepared to become the very high readiness strike carrier in 2024.’