Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth taking on water

The recently-commissioned Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is taking on water due to a propeller shaft leak, the Royal Navy has confirmed.

A Royal Navy spokesman said the issue with a shaft seal has been identified during the carrier’s sea trials earlier this year.

The Royal Navy said the ship would be repaired while alongside at Portsmouth without needing to go into dry dock. It was further noted that the ship’s further sea trials schedule would not be affected.

Worth noting is the fact that the issue was discovered while the ship was on contractor’s trials which are designed to discover any faults on the ship and its systems before it is deemed fit for operations.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth was commissioned on December 7, 2017, and is now set to complete further sea and helicopter trials before heading to the US for F-35B trials in late 2018.

The UK defense ministry expects to have an initial carrier strike operating capability by December 2020, something the UK has been without since the Invincible-class aircraft carrier left service.

The 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier will reach full carrier strike operating capability by 2023.

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