Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales stranded in Portsmouth for six months after second flood
BRITAIN’S newest aircraft carrier will be stranded in Portsmouth until mid-May as engineers battle to repair the vessel after a second flood.
HMS Prince of Wales had been due to depart for the US to continue tests with the F-35 stealth jets at the end of the year.
But the £3.2bn leviathan has reportedly been banned from leaving her home port after a flood in October wrecked vital electrical systems.
The leak was caused by a fault in the 65,000-tonne warship’s fire system and left much of the flooded compartment submerged for 24 hours.
Naval mechanics are now checking over miles of electrical cabling, which has forced top brass to axe Prince of Wales’ trip to the east coast of America.
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.’
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.
The vessel was running on its diesel generators instead of from the naval base’s power system while trials were being carrier out on the upgraded shore-based supply system.
Exasperated Gosport resident Neil Sutton said people were sticking ‘our heads under our pillows at night’ in a bid to get some sleep.
‘In this lockdown, why can we not open our windows and enjoy peace and tranquillity?,' he told The News earlier this year.
HMS Prince of Wales is the second of the navy's two new aircraft carriers.
She is slightly longer and fractionally heavier than her old sister, HMS Queen Elizabeth.
Both vessels are capable of housing 36 F-35Bs and four helicopters.