Britain’s biggest ever warship and future flagship vessel HMS Queen Elizabeth has sprung a leak. Defense officials made the unflattering admission on Tuesday, only two weeks after the warship had been commissioned into the Royal Navy.
The ship, called “Her Majesty Ship Queen Elizabeth” cost more than $4 billion to build, has been contending with having to take on water for some time due to a shaft seal problem.
It is the most powerful ship Britain has ever built. The 280-meter long aircraft carrier is undergoing sea trials and is due to finally enter service in 2020.
In spite of the embarrassing leak, Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson remains confident and proud of their warship. He bragged: “HMS Queen Elizabeth is the most magnificent aircraft carrier in the world. She is going to make a significant difference as to what we can actually achieve and what we are able to do as a global power.”
HMS Queen Elizabeth can operate with a crew of 1,000 and can carry 40 aircraft on deck. It also weighs 65,000 tomes.
Williamson is also not worried about the leak they discovered. He defended: “This is the reason why we have sea trials- to make sure that everything is working absolutely perfectly.”
The leak will be addressed and repaired when the warship is docked in Portsmouth.
Other experts including former senior naval officer Rear Admiral Chris Parry also dismissed the problem, telling the local media that the leak was “no big deal.” He also added: “Every ship, to tell you the truth, takes on water. That’s why you have pumps.”
Parry also said that in sea trials, “you stress it right to its extremes, and you’re really looking for faults like this to see what happens.”
The repair is expected to take only a few days, and the problem expected to be rectified by the new year.
Britain has not had any carrier strike capability since its government did away with previous vessels in 2010 as part of austerity measures by the government to stop a huge deficit it was facing then.