Repair bill to fix Royal Navy's leaky aircraft carriers is set to hit £5.5m

THE bill to fix all the damage caused to the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier after a major leak flooded its engine room is set to hit £5.5m, The News can reveal.

By Tom Cotterill
Friday, 18th December 2020, 12:01 am
Updated Sunday, 20th December 2020, 12:38 am

Leaky HMS Prince of Wales – the navy’s second £3.2bn supercarrier – suffered its second flood this year in October.

A faulty fire system unleashed thousands of gallons of water into a compartment in the 65,000-tonne ship, wrecking electrical systems.

The damage was so severe, plans for the ship to sail to America for training were scrapped as top brass ordered the carrier to stay in Portsmouth for the next few months.

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Stills from a video showing water from a burst pipe pouring into a room on HMS Prince of Wales Posted on Jackspeak Facebook page May 16, 2020

Now The News can reveal the bill to repair the flood damage has cost the taxpayer £3.3m.

And a further £2.2m is being to spent ‘remedial works’ on Prince of Wales and her sister ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth to prevent future leaks, taking the total bill for the fault to £5.5m.

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The revelation was confirmed by defence minister Jeremy Quin, who is in charge of buying the nation’s military kit.

Repair to fix the flood damage caused to HMS Prince of Wales are to ht £3.3m - with a further £2.2m bill to fix 'remedial' problems on the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers. PIctured: HMS Prince of Wales in Liverpool and, inset, the flooded engine room in October.

The Conservative MP was responding to a written question from shadow armed forces minister and Portsmouth South MP, Stephen Morgan who was demanding to know ‘what estimate’ had been made of the repair bill.

Mr Quin said: ‘The estimated incremental cost of the repair work is £3.3m.

‘Remedial work being conducted on both Queen Elizabeth-class carriers to help prevent a repetition of this event is expected to cost £2.2m.’

‘Repairs of the damage caused by floodwater in the engine room of HMS Prince of Wales are progressing as planned,’ he said.

‘The ship's company is conducting concurrent preparations for their programme of at sea training activity in 2021 which precede her operational commitments.’

As previously reported, the flood was the second one to hit the ship this year.

In May, water was filmed pouring through a ceiling in the vessel's living quarters. The navy described that incident as ‘minor’.

The Senior Service insisted that HMS Prince of Wales will still be operational by 2023 as it was scheduled.

Speaking of the fallout from the latest flood, a source told The Sun: ‘It’s embarrassing. The America trip took years of planning and we’ve had to say we can’t come.

‘It will take months to repair the damage. Costs will run to millions.’

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