Brandnew $3.8 billion British-NATO aircraft carrier fails to leave port

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The HMS Prince of Wales has been unable to depart for the largest NATO exercise since the Cold War, the British Defense Ministry has said. This marks the second blunder involving a Royal Navy aircraft carrier within the space of one week.

Its sister ship, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, was initially slated to spearhead the Nordic Response 2024 drills, which would gather some 40 NATO warships off Norway’s coast in March and serve as the naval component of the US-led military bloc’s broader Steadfast Defender 2024 exercise. However, the carrier’s participation in the wargames was canceled at the last minute on February 4 after the discovery of a problem with the starboard propeller shaft coupling.

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The HMS Prince of Wales was set to serve as the replacement for the HMS Queen Elizabeth, but was also unable to leave port within the scheduled time-frame.

On Sunday, onlookers gathered at Portsmouth Harbor to watch the £3 billion (around $3.8 billion) warship set sail. The harbor’s mouth had already been closed off to traffic in accordance with procedure, when it was announced that the carrier’s departure had been delayed.

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