Britain’s biggest warship broke down soon after leaving port for naval exercises in the U.S. where crews were set to practice operating F-35B jets and drone operations off the coast of North America.
The Royal Navy’s $3.5 billion dollar aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales left the Portsmouth Naval Base on Saturday but quickly had to drop anchor off the nearby Isle of Wight so maintenance crews could address a mechanical problem.
According to the U.K. Defense Journal, Royal Navy divers noticed possible problems with the starboard propeller shaft. But it wasn’t immediately clear if that was the issue that caused the breakdown.
Royal Navy Capt. Richard Hewitt, commander of the HMS Prince of Wales, said the deployment — scheduled to last the rest of the year —- was intended to “push the boundaries of U.K. carrier operations” and “reinforce our close working relationship with our closest ally.”
According to British media reports, the HMS Prince of Wales will continue the deployment once the mechanical issue is resolved.