According to reports out of the UK, the future British flag-ship and most advanced war vessel ever sailed under the crown has a technical issue with one of its massive props, resulting in what can only be described as a leak in the advanced aircraft carrier.
The issue with the HMS Queen Elizabeth was discovered during sea trials after the Queen herself commissioned the vessel earlier this month in Portsmouth. The leak, which is allowing some 52 gallons or so of water into the carrier per hour, is considered minor when compared to the massive 65,000 ton vessel. Nonetheless, repairs are expected to cost millions of dollars. That cost, however, is reportedly going to be absorbed by the ship’s manufacturer. The vessel took eight years to construct, and it is rumored that the builders, Aircraft Carrier Alliance, warned the British Navy about the potential issue when they turned the vessel over.
“Sea trials are precisely for finding manageable teething problems like this and rectifying them,” a Royal Navy spokesman said. “Repairs under contract are already underway alongside in Portsmouth and the sea trials will take place as planned in the New Year, when we will continue to rigorously test the ship before she enters service.”
According to Rear Admiral Chris Parry, a former director of operational capability at the Ministry of Defense, the headlines regarding the leak are “very embarrassing,” but the leak itself “in reality is no big deal.”
The massive warship, which measures some 920 feet and boasts a crew of 700, cost $4.2 billion to construct and is intended to be the first in a new fleet of British carriers. Although the massive vessel doesn’t quite size up when compared to allied Nimitz or Ford class carriers sailed by the United States Navy, both of which exceed a thousand feet in length and outweigh their British counterpart by a wide margin, the Queen Elizabeth remains one of the largest, most advanced carriers any nation has ever launched.
Aircraft Carrier Alliance, a group of companies hailing from multiple nations that took on the massive construction effort, issued a statement this week indicating that they were confident that the repairs could be conducted in a timely manner, and that the future flag ship’s route to service has not been compromised.
“It’s normal practice for a volume of work and defect resolution to continue following vessel acceptance,” BAE Systems, one of the consortium’s companies, said in a statement. “This will be completed prior to the nation’s flagship re-commencing her program at sea in 2018.”
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons