The Week has reports Tuesday that, the £3.1bn HMS Queen Elizabeth has sprung a leak due to a faulty seal – and an investigation is under way to determine whether sister vessel HMS Prince of Wales has a similar problem.
The leaking warship, Britain’s biggest-ever aircraft carrier, is taking on up to 200 litres of seawater an hour, The Daily Telegraph reports. Initial reports suggest there is a “significant” defect with an inflatable rubber ring-style seal around one of the propeller shafts.
The Sun says that “top brass are furious”, because the carrier had the fault when it was delivered by ship building partnership the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA).
The Navy is concerned that taxpayers may have to fund future repairs, says the Daily Mirror. According to the newspaper, an insider said: “There is a feeling that the ACA mugged us off by not sorting this before the handover.”
However, Sky News says officials are portraying the leak as “routine stuff”, pointing out that the fault was found during sea trials designed to find such problems.
The 280-metre-long, 65,000-ton warship was formally commissioned into the Royal Navy fleet by the Queen less than two weeks ago.