Sources onboard HMS Prince of Wales have told the UK Defence Journal that the damaged aircraft carrier may head to a drydock in Amsterdam for repairs.

Multiple independent sources have told me that it is believed that the warship’s propellor hit something on the sea bed.

“Either the propellor hit the floor or something on it. Definitely dry docking needed, and Amsterdam is being touted as an easier option than Rosyth.”

Earlier this year, a £30 million contract for dry-dock maintenance for the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers was awarded to Babcock at Rosyth. The contract covers routine and emergency dry-docking periodically throughout the carrier’s lives to undertake maintenance and repair activities.

Amsterdam in this case is closer and easier to get to, but this has yet to be officially confirmed.

What happened?

Rear Admiral Steve Moorhouse recently provided an update on the situation with HMS Prince of Wales, confirming what the UK Defence Journal was first to report.

HMS Prince of Wales suffers propeller shaft issue

We reported yesterday that aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales was feared to have suffered damage to her propellor shaft near the Isle of Wight. The UK Defence Journal was the first news website in the country to break this story. 

Rear Admiral Steve Moorhouse said in a statement posted to Twitter.

“Good afternoon to you all, from HMS Prince of Wales off the coast of Portsmouth. I’m Rear Admiral Steve Morehouse, and I’m responsible for making sure Royal Navy ships are ready to deploy wherever they are needed. Shortly after the ship sailed on Saturday, a mechanical fault was discovered with the starboard shaft.

I’ve been to the ship today to see for myself what the issue is, and how we in the Royal Navy can work together to make sure that the ship can successfully returned to her tasking. After the initial assessment, it’s likely the fault will require repairs, which may impact the ship’s programme. The ship is now moving to a more sheltered anchorage for further inspection.

And then we’ll be able to provide further comments on the nature of the issue and the impact to her current schedule. We’ve reacted quickly to the emergent defect and are working closely with industry partners to resolve this as soon as we can. Rest assured the Royal Navy continues to meet its commitments to deliver operations. And to keep the UK our partners and allies safe.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also previously worked for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
1 year ago

Makes sense, easier than towing her all the way to the Firth of Forth and then waiting for the correct tidal conditions to get under the bridges

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago

Yes, a pragmatic solution but as the same time shows the limitation of Rosyth for emergency docking of a ship that big. That might just cause a rethink?

Martin
Martin
1 year ago

Or shows the limitations of Portsmouth Naval base. Maybe it’s time to reopen HMNB Rosyth and put the carriers there close to their dry dock and support facility. I can’t think of any reason to have two naval bases on the south coast anymore and only one on the west coast and nothing on the eat coast or north coast. If the threat is from Russia and not France then surely the RN should redeploy.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

Portsmouth D-dock has been considered, but was put on ice. Plenty happening on all fronts to revisit, though. One at each end of the UK. Also, KGV in Southampton a local possibility, with effort, but why would you remove such a vital asset from the dockyard when Pompey has great potential defences?

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
1 year ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

The KGV graving dock in Southampton was deactivated in 2005 as it was hardly being used. The caisson gates and keel blocks were removed, converting it to just berthing.  Even it was possible to reconvert (at great expense), you would still have the security problems and risks associated with docking a major RN warship in the middle of busy civilian port. My recollection about Devonport is that the channel was just too restricted and dangerous for ships the size of the new carriers – so you will never see QE or POW there. A shame as otherwise it would have… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago

Indeed, S’ton had been examined but certainly not ideal.

Jonno
Jonno
1 year ago

What about Portland and a floating dry dock? I heard the Russians had one. No that wont….

Bob Young
Bob Young
1 year ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

The dockyard services in Portsmouth are gash…

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Young

Would that be the rubbish collection services?

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

Invergordon, unless they’re worried there’d be a mutiny.

Dern
Dern
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

I mean the fact that the Carriers can only sail at very low tides would preclude them from being stationed at HMNB Rosyth.

Callum
Callum
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

Arguably it doesn’t particularly matter where the bases are from a strategic point of view. Aircraft do the quick response to hostile incursions, ships are for persistent tasks and fighting abroad. The bases that remain were chosen because they were the biggest and most important, not because of location. Where ships are homeported today is for economic and logistic reasons, such as streamlining support requirements. Opening a new base would require so much more time and money than simply expanding facilities at Pompey. I will say though, its been commented on before that the largest proportion of navy recruits come… Read more »

Propellerman
Propellerman
1 year ago

There are some excellent repair facilities in AMS – better than we have here and they are geared up for it with all their inland waterway transport and support network

grizzler
grizzler
1 year ago
Reply to  Propellerman

Something we should aspire to maybe?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago

Come off board. Can I interest you in a smoke and a pancake.
In my best Amsterdam accent

Ren
Ren
1 year ago

Doesn’t need to be towed all the way, doesn’t it have multiple props/shafts?

andy
andy
1 year ago

if they are saying the prop may have hit something on the sea bed, then how come navy lookout had an image of the right prop not turning, or creating a wake on the starboard side whilst being tugged out of portsmouth or do they only run one prop when leaving port…I,m ex army so don,t know much about ships, except they are big and bloody expensive…

Daniel
Daniel
1 year ago
Reply to  andy

I’d imagine that implies that she hit something in the harbour, and that it was probably judged sensible to continue out and conduct an inspection in the Solent rather than having to renegotiate entry and exit schedules for what could have still potentially been a minor repair.

Julian
Julian
1 year ago
Reply to  Daniel

Makes sense. Plus if it did turn out to be a major repair that required dry dock, as sadly seems to be the case, the same point about not renegotiating entry and exit schedules only to need to exit again to get to a suitable dry dock is valid.

If indeed the issue did occur in harbour it looks to me like a very good and well thought out command decision made under some pressure.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  andy

Well two things really

– as the ship is fully bombed up it would make more sense to move it to a safe area for investigation; and
– the transits periods, due to tides windows, are limited.

All in all it made more sense to go somewhere where a proper detailed examination could safely take place.

Greg Smith
Greg Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  andy

A lost shipping container 😉

Ren
Ren
1 year ago
Reply to  Greg Smith

quite possible actually. There’s lots of them floating around, barely sticking out. I question the design if it can’t handle that. It should leave a dent in the prop at worst.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 year ago

sounds like a naffi queue buzz. The ship is bombed up Whilst BR862 has superceded JSP 862 which is the RN Explosives safety bible, most of the JSP is still valid and is available to view from a simple Google search. Chap 6 lists the requirements for dry docking in a civvy foreign yard whilst carrying explosives. The last safety case I was involved with needed signing off at Ministerial Level. I have been involved in dry docking a bombed up vessels and its a Risk Management nightmare. The last one we where to do was cancelled because the minister… Read more »

Propellerman
Propellerman
1 year ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

i dont think the cloggies can fit her in anyway – the Damen drydck is too shortand i am sure not deep enough, and the shiplift couldnt take the weight – you are right about Rosyth and de-ammo on the way

Jon
Jon
1 year ago
Reply to  Propellerman

Maybe Rotterdam. Long enough, wide enough, but possibly not deep enough. Nah. It’s all scuttlebutt. Let’s just wait.

Last edited 1 year ago by Jon
Robert
Robert
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon

The PoW has a draught of 11m, Rotterdam can accomodate ships upto 22,5m. Damen Verolme (Rotterdam) can accommodate vessels with a maximum length of 405 metres, Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam has a dock for vessels up to 308 metres, and Damen Shiprepair & Conversion in Schiedam accommodates vessels up to 305 metres. The dry dock in Amsterdam is too short and too narrow.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
Andrew Craig-Bennett
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert

Correct.

Martin
Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Great summation, maybe we have to look long and hard about why these ships are based in Portsmouth in the first place. Other than for political reasons.

Deep32
Deep32
1 year ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I believe that PWLS issue a docking in Jan 23 iaw her maintenance schedule! Wouldn’t it just be far easier to send her to Roysth and bring the maintenance period forward, whilst retasking QE to go over to the States? Especially if this repair is going to take a week or two?

DMJ
DMJ
1 year ago
Reply to  Deep32

QE is preparing to deploy to the Med with F35’s embarked as CSG22.

Deep32
Deep32
1 year ago
Reply to  DMJ

Yes appreciate that, but think that it might come down to what the most important tasking is if PWLS is out for several weeks and can’t make the USA, as it’s been cancelled once before!

Propellerman
Propellerman
1 year ago

The Propeller blades are bolted on – so they can either unbolt it/them and repair them off the hub or replace the blades if they have any under a spares package with RR. The torque alarms on the shaft would have gone nuts – maybe they corkscrewed the shaft if they were unlucky – but at low speed i guess they would have got away with it.

Steve B
Steve B
1 year ago
Reply to  Propellerman

But is it the propeller blade that is broken? I read it as though it is the bit the the propeller blade is bolted onto is broken.

Propellerman
Propellerman
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve B

you dont bend the shaft without damaging the propeller first – if the shaft was bent then the fwd seal would also stand a good chance of being compromised and then it would be a big drama llama.

andy reeves
andy reeves
1 year ago
Reply to  Propellerman

it could well be an issue of a plummer block failure/malfunction the plummer blocks support and lubricate the shift as it passes along through the lower areas of a ship. a failure, could cause a sag in the alignment of the whole shaft.fingers crossed its a prop blade issue and she’ll be back on task again soon

andy reeves
andy reeves
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve B

i hope its a blad issue and not the shaft. repairing/replacing a propellor is a straight forward task if its the shaft, then its a different issue altogether a shaft replacement is a big expensive time consuming job needing specialist ngineering. plus, its big and very heavy.

Harry Nelson
Harry Nelson
1 year ago
Reply to  Propellerman

I know FF/DD could replace blades using a divers and a habitat, wonder if doable for something this size?

Frank62
Frank62
1 year ago
Reply to  Harry Nelson

A QE propellor blade probably the size of a double decker bus. Bolting off or on underwater probably not on!

Last edited 1 year ago by Frank62
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank62

Well they put them on underwater and re tightened QEs after here blade issue.

Frank62
Frank62
1 year ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Thanks GB, fair enough I stand corrected.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Propellerman

Forged in Sweden facility, I believe? And each blade slotted on shaft? Correct me if wrong, though.
Rgs

Propellerman
Propellerman
1 year ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

made in Finland – and they are bolted up blades on adjustable spigots to a central tapered hub so that the pitch can be reduced if she gains weight during her life.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  Propellerman

Many thanks

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 year ago
Reply to  Propellerman

Yep. Draft means diddly when the blades sweep radius is lower than the keel. When she came.out of the build dock in Rosyth, they then attached the blades. They use “superbolts” to attach them . Divers tighten the bolts in a set order, tighten super bolts to apply more torque and then retighten again in a set order. I spoke to some divers who have done it . Using a massive long torque wrench underwater is not easy apparently.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 year ago

Russian UUAV? It’s the one theory not yet exploded!

Last edited 1 year ago by Barry Larking
eclipse
eclipse
1 year ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

I mean, it’s not very realistic is it?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  eclipse

A Russian weapon that works: that is a so far beyond credibility……

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 year ago

‘Ah! I was waiting for you to spot that, Wilson!!’

Sean
Sean
1 year ago

Perhaps a Russian UUAV that broke down and sunk? 😆

Frank62
Frank62
1 year ago

Says us with a broken down CVA.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank62

It isn’t broken down: it is perfectly able to proceed on one screw.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 year ago
Reply to  eclipse

No. My jokes never are.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 year ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Luckily not “exploded” but to be further ”explored”…lol. Could be a possible use of UUAVs as non-explosive weapons or for sabotage?

Coll
Coll
1 year ago

HMS Prince of Wales to have a broken shaft fixed in Amsterdam. Sounds like fun. hehe

andy reeves
andy reeves
1 year ago
Reply to  Coll

good run ashore for the boys though.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 year ago
Reply to  andy reeves

Smoke and pancake in Amsterdam. Very nice

geoff.Roach
geoff.Roach
1 year ago

Fingers crossed that it’s impact damage, maybe “just” to the blades. Be a damned shame to miss out on these exercises but maybe it’s too late. I’m no engineer.

Rob
Rob
1 year ago

Does this mean the crew get a jolly in Amsterdam?

Virtual7
Virtual7
1 year ago

What about Inchgreen Drydock in Greenock. Near Glenmallon to disembark munitions during repair period.

Martin
Martin
1 year ago

Imagine the headlines in the daily mail if she has to go to Amsterdam. Better just to send her to Rosyth to avoid the inevitable press saga.

AlexS
AlexS
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin

Dailymail have been considerate in this, but the The Sun already says PoW is “cursed” : Cursed £3billion Navy aircraft carrier

THE ROYAL Navy’s cursed £3 billion aircraft carrier could spend months out of action for repairs costing millions as engineers prepare a dry dock.

Last edited 1 year ago by AlexS
Frank62
Frank62
1 year ago
Reply to  AlexS

If anything is cursed it is the Sun.

andy reeves
andy reeves
1 year ago

always bad to hear this kind of report happens shaft loads on such a huge vessel are always possible as the force required to propel such huge ships inevitablyputs maximum force on a relatively small area. i’m surprised it doesn’t ppear to be returning to its home dock in rosyth. if a replacement shaft has to be fited, its a massive task and doesn’t take days to fit, it could take over a monthor so, its also a very difficult job and generally only carried out by specialists. the deployment to the u.s was a very important one. thats not… Read more »

Jonno
Jonno
1 year ago

If they need to fit a new shaft then you have problem that they are of different lengths and the dock has to be long enough. Is the shaft a single item? Likely not.

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 year ago

Hope she better luck then old Prince of Wales 🙄 🇬🇧 sure all will be well👍

Matt
Matt
1 year ago

Perhaps stupid questions.

How do they get a spare shaft rapidly to Amsterdam? How long are the sections?

Does she carry a spare?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt

Moving a shaft is deck cargo – no big deal at all.

Making the shaft would be what would take the time. It would be special grade materials in terms of hardening to resist forces and prevent it whipping under load

I’d be amazed if there was a spare kicking around.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
Andrew Craig-Bennett
1 year ago

There ought to be. Along with a spare hub as well as the spare blades. This isn’t rocket science, it’s been SOP for a century and a half, now.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 year ago

This was a trip the HMS Prince of Wales politically had to make. Imagine the reaction now in Norfolk, the USN 2nd Fleet facing a second major exercise debacle with the same ship. Pretty pissed off no doubt. Then scoot up to the Officer Mess in Murmansk where, after all the flack thrown at the K with its smoke and tugs, they watch muttering ‘poetic justice’. I don’t know much about ships but it looks like risk assessment went badly wrong. They had to dredge the harbour so they knew they could have draft issues, so why no sonar equipted… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Ha ha.

Both ours float and the toilets work.

Neither of ours belches smoke.

Both of ours can do something useful.

FYI it is perfectly operable on one shaft by design. This is a safety margin issue.

Personally I’m delighted that Mad Vlad is pouring resources into his scrap heap carrier as it takes resources away from submarines.

Are you able to condemn the shameful Russian ‘soldiers’ making fools of their country in Ukraine with their shocking behaviour?

Jacko
Jacko
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Politically? I am sure the USN know full well unexpected things happen!
Its not as if they haven’t had problems with any of there ships is it🙄
Still you just parrot what your told by your handlers.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 year ago
Reply to  Jacko

As I understand it the US Marines were going to get more practice with their F-35Bs on her. They may well expect the unexpected but they can’t be happy.

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Why won’t they he happy? It’s training, training can be rearranged, losing your war in Ukraine can’t!

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 year ago
Reply to  Airborne

Check your facts. The most important part of the trip from a military perspective looks to be the SRVL work, nothing to do with any exercise, that’s R&D with lots of prior and expensive detailed work. Also a QinetiQ Banshee Jet80+ test contract could be impacted.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

The irony. A peddler of baseless myths from the Kremlin and other Russian misinformation tells another poster to check their facts!!! 😀

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 year ago

Well Airborne did get it wrong. Are you saying what I said in that comment was wrongt?

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Yes, I am. As many of the experienced ex service people have stated before here, training and exercises are often postponed for various reasons, it’s not the end of the world. I’d take their word over anything you’ve ever said , you certainly are in no position to judge whether anyone else’s post here is right or wrong considering that almost everything you posit here is Kremlin BS and misinformation. You’re able to come back with your unctuous bleating about being right, but you still can’t be a real man and call out the murder, rape and abuse etc of… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Nope!

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Check your facts, why do you support the rape of women in a foreign country?

DH
DH
1 year ago
Reply to  Jacko

handlers??, who let the chokheads out, arf, arf arf, arf……
🤣 DH.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Perhaps you can do a swap with China? They get the oil Russia cannot sell anymore & China gives Russia a nice new Aircraft Carrier in return.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 year ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I don’t think HMG would do a swap. From what I read, Russian oil sales are going pretty well, especially given that the high price created by the sanctions gives them good discounting opportunities, like with India. Ship less and make more profit, is probably not what the US had in mind.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

HMG has nothing to do with it. I am talking about Putin & Xi doing a deal. You know, your bosses.

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  John Hartley

He knows what your saying John, hes just trying to be smart and failing as per normal.

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Yaaaaaaaawn more shite troll boy. Any condemnation of abuse of women in general, not specifically your favourite little rapist invasion? Any condemnation of rape in general, looting during public disorder, criminal gangs using torture?

CHRISTOPHER SMITH
CHRISTOPHER SMITH
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

You could not be more wrong. They are selling oil at $50 a barrel. It costs them $40 to get it out of the ground. It takes one day to transport it to Europe. It takes several to ship it to India and China.They are going to implode. BP actually increased its company’s Value by pulling out of Russia. They make nothing.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHRISTOPHER SMITH
Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I suspect the Chinese would simply use that Russian carrier for a sinkex 😆

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Sean

The problem is that you don’t learn much from a SINKEX if the target sinks on the way to the SINKEX area?

Sean
Sean
1 year ago

Well I guess you’d learn you don’t need to waist munitions on Russian vessels, they sink all by themselves 😆

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Personally, I’m gobsmacked at how phenomenally well designed and manufactured the QE Class turned out to be. Shite will always happen, but every trial is a learning opportunity, as you ought be aware, John. As regard the screws themselves, did you observe how efficient they seemed to perform whilst QE herself was on her CSG? Look at the videos; it’s been commented upon by non-Brits – with quotes like ‘she doesn’t seem to break into a sweat when under way’.* I still side with the notion that you are a Brit, but please ffs lighten up. * do entertain the… Read more »

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 year ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Really good to hear that from someone like you. Unlike you I know nothing about propwash and spoiling intel gathering must be a priority. It does seem like we have a tale of two ships, the lucky one and the other one. A bit like their namesakes in a way.

Dern
Dern
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Shocking, Johnsky knows nothing. You heard it here first people.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  Dern

I thought that was pretty obvious to one and all 🤷🏻‍♂️

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

She is a long ship with a very well optimised hull form. Being a very big very heavy ship she moves in a very predictable manner through the deeper water where most of the resistance builds up. The way the front end is shaped: deeper water is lifted to form a smooth laminar flow around the hull which massively increases efficient over the first 1/3rd of the hull. One of the advantages of a blank page design process is that all the unwanted historical garbage that accretes into incremental designs can be thrown overboard. Cruising economy was a consideration for… Read more »

Jonno
Jonno
1 year ago

I was amazed she went over 30kn. As you say a well optimized hull form. Brilliant. As far as names go it may be unfortunate but the present HMS Victory followed one lost in a storm.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

The PWLS is still afloat, still operational if push came to shove and could still transit to the US on one shaft if required. Unlike your Russian junk. You certainly don’t know much about ships, or for that matter, anything else . The officers mess in Murmansk?? They’re probably selling off whatever steel and printed circuit boards they can find.

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago

👍

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Dont worry troll boy, thir isn’t going to be any scooting up the rapists mess in Murmansk, to see them chuckling, nah they have other things on their mind such as losing a war!

Dern
Dern
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Hey John, any condemnation of Putin’s genocide in Ukraine yet? Or too busy pretending that the dry dock in murmansk didn’t catch fire, sink, and drop a crane on your carrier. I’m sure you could just look out the window and see it.

Sean
Sean
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Ah John, so how’s the Russian advance towards Odesa, that you were so confidently predicting, going? You did say that that was why the Russians were rushing so much men and materiel to Kherson. As I recall you dismissed out of hand too the possibility of Ukraine launching an offensive there…

Almost as hilarious as your Eve of invasion prediction that Russia wasn’t going to invade Ukraine.

CHRISTOPHER SMITH
CHRISTOPHER SMITH
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

It’s all good. We’ve had our own mishaps. At least she didn’t let a container run into her.

John Stott
John Stott
1 year ago

Mmm, there was the argument for smaller and more numerous ships of less tonnage. Still, tptb never seem to learn do they?

hulahoop7
hulahoop7
1 year ago
Reply to  John Stott

The powers that be made that mistake with the Invincibles – which were a fundamentally compromised capability. Carriers need space.

John Stott
John Stott
1 year ago
Reply to  hulahoop7

They were “through deck cruisers”. A description that came about after the large carrier renewal was shelved. A clever one at the time too. My point is with a larger number of similar sized ships? These all too common incidents would not effect operational capacity. It only needs QE to have one of these all too common accidents, or an all too often ship builders “fault” and? No carriers. Then with the Type 45, with T23 breakdown last week? We are seeing that the stated “quality” and claims made for all of these ships are garbage. You only have to… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  John Stott

In the early days of Ocean there were plenty of issues. Believe me. @ Gunbuster has previously referenced that when Ocean was delivered it was pretty much a commercial ferry with a helo lift. she even had timber swing doors on the corridors: yes really. RN had to post delivery spend loads of money making it more battle damage resistant. She would never has passed a proper shock test IMHO. That is not a model to emulate and, **I guess**, the reason why Ocean #2 was never ordered. This is not a very, very serious breakdown in that both power… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago
Reply to  John Stott

No, the argument was well and truly won in the Concept phase that large carriers are more cost-effective than small carriers.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Agreed

And the right decision was clearly made?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago

The right decision was made to have a larger carrier than the Invincible class, but a poor decision that only two would be ordered. We need a minimum of 3 and arguably a LPH replacement for HMS Ocean too – but of course no budget for this.

Last edited 1 year ago by Graham Moore
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I slightly disagree. Nobody would ever had ordered three QEC carriers – it would never have happened and RN didn’t even want three of them. To have two QEC’s fully active at any one time would have required two full air-wings etc – the costs would have been eye watering. Where I do agree with you is that there should have been 2 x LPH replacements for Ocean which were on a more lean crewed model that Ocean was. These could then have taken over from Argus’ role as helicopter training ship as well. But not Argus’ role as Primary… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago

Hi SB, with only 2 carriers we cannot guarantee that 1 will always be available for ops – and also some ops may require 2 carriers for redundancy during the deployment.
I agree that we could never have afforded 3 carriers ( with 2 air wings between them) though.

2 x LPH would have been perfect.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

To be honest I was pleased and amazed the two of them got ordered in the first place.

And amazed that Cameron, under a lot of pressure from Trump, agreed to put them both into service.

You wouldn’t believe the behind the scenes shenanigans trying to cancel them. They became quite totemic. I heard Sir Jeremy Heywood, in a rare moment when he said anything at all, say “Those bloody things” in response to a comment about the carriers.

Last edited 1 year ago by Supportive Bloke
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago

I heard a story that Cameron wanted to cancel one of them for no good military reason – just to save money – and was told that the cancellation fees were eye-watering. Never heard he wanted to cancel both of them. Then there was the story that accordingly both would be built but that one would either be sold off (to the Aussies??) or mothballed.

Heywood as a senior civil servant should not have said anything – they are supposed to be politically neutral.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

In all fairness to Jeremy the political side had made the decision.

The comment was more about the bandwidth that the carrier build conversation was taking up. It was neither the real problem nor potential solution.

There were a lot of quite pathetic spreadsheet related conversations going on. Osbourne would have cut anything to try and balance budgets: so much bandwidth was spent trying to stop silly things happening.

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  John Stott

Head sheds decided different and decided correctly.

Matt C
Matt C
1 year ago
Reply to  John Stott

Rather, the smaller-more-numerous-carrier crowd never seem to learn the realities of economies of scale and just how much it affects carrier ops.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt C

That is perhaps due to the economies of scale only working in peacetime or against lessor foes. In the unlikely event of a peer to peer war then single point of failure becomes a larger factor. So naturally the cost benefits are the winner.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Higher sortie rates applies to any foe whether in peace or war.

With the 3 Invincibles 2 were in use.

We still have 2 carriers now, so I don’t see how your single point of failure point applies.

Russia doesn’t even have a carrier that works, never mind deploys for 5 months at a time.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago

Also very big modern warships are very hard to sink when the compartmentation is done properly as it is on RN ships of today.

So they are inherently much more survivable.

Bigger ships are also more stable so better to do more technical things from such as service aircraft.

Having more space in the hangar is a massive win in terms of the choreography and also having idealised working spaces for specific mechanics and other taskings.

Herodotus
1 year ago

It would seem that POW had a bloody good attempt at sinking itself without the assistance of the Russians!

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 year ago

The single point of failure was just a comparison of one versus two+ as per Matt C’s comment so in our case as we have two QE it might be three or four Invincible size ships.

Don’t see why a comparison with Russia is relevant here.

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Lesser foes? Your Russian rapists have been fighting, bullying and raping lesser foes since the sad USSR days! I think the best example would be Georgia in 2008! However I’m sure you can bullshit your way with propaganda and excuses for that one…..we await your dictated and scripted response (but no response to your support of illegal invasion and the oppression of women eh)

Dern
Dern
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Russians like yourself know wall about fighting lessor foes then XD
How about you condemn Putins illegal genocide then?

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Wrong again, wow you are so full of theories and no experience! At least your consistent at two things, one, being wrong, and two, your support for illegal warfare and the rape and oppression of women in said illegal war!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 year ago
Reply to  John Stott

Steel is cheap, a bigger carrier is way better than another Invincible type, for all sorts of reasons.

John Stott
John Stott
1 year ago

Depends on how you think. These are white elephants imo. End of. One QE mishap now and no big boats to play with. I admire your contributions on here. I still maintain we need to be realistic about what the UK can achieve militarily in the modern world. Sadly global Britain is a buzz phrase beloved of Johnson. With the domestic problems we face, and a strong possibility of a radical left/green/SNP coalition? All cards will be on the table, and with those kinds of politicians in charge, the military will be a prime target for cuts, and “social/health” expenditure… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 year ago
Reply to  John Stott

Not so white elephants but a great and valuable contribution to NATO, both as national assets and NATO/European ones! Not sure about the global Britain chuff from BJ but the vast majority of imports and exports are by sea, so by that alone the Navy need growth, both in platforms and capabilities! And in total agreement with the worrying possibility of a group of left wing clueless saddos from the various fuckwit parties forming a coalition, that would be the death of the military for the next 30 years!

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
1 year ago

I think what this dose highlight is the lack of surveys done in Pompy harbour and surrounding waterways. Our one inshore survey vessel HMS Magpie has been all around the UK but has not been to Portsmouth for some time maybe we need one Inshore survey vessel based permanently on the South coast and on permanently for the Scottish coast.
If the buzz is true, that PoW has indeed struck something with its prop while leaving Pompy then then there should be some questions asked like is Pompy the correct place to have both aircraft carriers.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago

Pompey was surveyed and dredged for the QE-class a while back.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

That was some time ago, and the nature of tidal estuaries means that it is constantly changing not to mention the detritus thrown over from the commercial and fishing industries which ends up in these areas. If you are going to base a ship with only a few feet of clearance (the QEC’s have an 11m draft) then the harbour needs to be surveyed regularly.

Bob Young
Bob Young
1 year ago

Pretty sure I saw HMS Echo tenders working on the dockyard and harbour before she decommissioned. They have excellent survey capability.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Young

Again, that was some time ago and with only a few feet of clearance the harbour and seaways need to be surveyed more regularly.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 year ago

As I suggested about, is a sonar equipped harbour boat as an escort an option? A bit like a man with a red flag walking in front of early cars.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
1 year ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Yes, you are right it would be a bit like Your Mr Putin having someone whispering in his shell like, “don’t do it you pleb” but we all have to live and learn.

Bob Young
Bob Young
1 year ago

That was in May,

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Young

To have an up to date understanding of the bottom of a harbour you need to be looking at it constantly especially if you only have a few feet of clearance, The Buzz at the moment is that the PoW’s prop has his something, but it might be that she has picked up an old net or a length of rope, we just do not know at the moment but what is sure is that with only a few feet of clearance going in and out of the harbour if there is an undetected obstruction then the carriers are going… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 year ago

What happened to the idea to rebuild & enlarge an old battleship dry dock at Portsmouth so it could take the new QE/PoW carriers?

Bob Young
Bob Young
1 year ago
Reply to  John Hartley

They can barely support T45 well let alone a QEC in drydock

RobW
RobW
1 year ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Shelved due to budget. The RN considered that Rosyth was enough. Perhaps they will reconsider but I doubt it with limited resources.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Can you imagine the costs of doing that. Why would you do it? There is no shipbuilding capability there anymore? There are two physically active large dry docks in the UK Rosyth Belfast Why would you bring a 3rd into action unless there was a need for it? Personally, I do think that a blank sheet of paper centre of RN shipbuilding excellence, Australian style, is required somewhere on a large piece of land with room for expansion. This should be a very large linear facility with indoor build halls and a very large dry dock. The answer is not… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 year ago

Navy Lookout, 20 Jan 2019, had an interesting article on dry docking options for QE/PoW. Portsmouth was looked at. Either No2 basin or D-lock could be enlarged/converted to take a QE class ship. Cost was estimated up to £500m. A lot, but might be the cheapest option over the long lifetime of the carriers.

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
1 year ago

I doubt that Portsmouth harbour has silted up so much since dredging was carried out, so if the impact was as suspected inside the harbour then it must’ve been an object which will probably still be there and showing impact damage. Unless that is the object was a Russian mini sub which has since escaped.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 year ago

More likely to be a shoppping trolley!

Andy Williams
Andy Williams
1 year ago

if the prop did strike something this can have repercussions along the length of the power train, some of which may not be immediately apparent. Question is: what did she hit? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude that bad actors can easily place obstructions anywhere in the port approaches.

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
1 year ago

The Telegraph today: Naval sources have told The Telegraph initial thoughts are pointing to a lack of lubrication on the starboard side at the point the propeller shaft leaves the interior of the hull. Any overheating at this point due to friction could have damaged the metal shaft, sources close to the issue have said. A better understanding of the problem, upon which navy chiefs can make decisions, is not expected before the end of the week. However, it is thought likely that a period in dry dock will be required, to have a proper look at the area and… Read more »

Bob Young
Bob Young
1 year ago

I thought Rosyth was Babcock owned..

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Young

So did the rest of us.

Nothing like facts in DT: nothing at all.

Jon
Jon
1 year ago

When I read the article online this morning it said Babcock, so they’ve corrected it.

criss whicker
criss whicker
1 year ago

I’m just an interested party on this, so i thought this route out of Portsmouth was drenched to make sure it was deep enough?, can we now presume that divers will cover the route and see what it may of hit,? and, as the ships seem to be getting bigger and bigger, would it not in hindsight to consider a new navy base perhaps of the coast of Cornwall or south wales, i understand it will cost vast millions, but as the ships are getting bigger we are surely going to have problems in the future, so its just a… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 year ago

I’ve just read, albeit in the DT, that it could be down to not greasing the shafts?

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
1 year ago

On the general topic of necessary repairs, presume everyone knows entire US Chinook fleet has been temporarily grounded to inspect for cause of some engine fires? If it’s not one damned thing, it’s another…🤔😳☹️

David Clarke
David Clarke
1 year ago

Seems to me that with the draught of the PoW on sailing should have been such as to assure a healthy clearance for the route of the departing vessel. Anything on the sea bed that was able to strike the propellers would have been on the large side to damage the prop shaft or propeller, Just a thought.

Darren hall
Darren hall
1 year ago

I see certain well informed media outlets are now saying lack of lubrication…

Robin Hergest
Robin Hergest
1 year ago
Reply to  Darren hall

Wasn’t there a weakness that came to light on the first trials and a necessary modification made to the bearing mountings to stop vibrations down the shafts? I seem to remember that. Also we shouldn’t rule out sabotage by the Russians. Fairly recently they successfully damaged the sub detecting device under one of our sub hunters in the channel. It was put down as an accident caused by the sub changing course. I felt that at the time that was a decision made to avoid conflict, but how much more are we going to allow before we man up and… Read more »

Robert
Robert
1 year ago

Dry docking in Amsterdam is not very likely. If they decide to go for the nearest port, they will probably take it to Rotterdam. Damen Verolme (Rotterdam) can accommodate vessels with a maximum length of 405 metres, Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam has a dock for vessels up to 308 metres, and Damen Shiprepair & Conversion in Schiedam accommodates vessels up to 305 metres. The country’s fourth dock is in Amsterdam (250 meters), but this dock is not only too short, but also too narrow.

Jon
Jon
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert

Rotterdam was my first thought too. The Shiprepair drydock doesn’t have the draught for Prince, but the 405m Verolme probably does.

However, we are currently speculating off the back of Chinese whispers. Richard’s reporting above of the Telegraph’s explanation fits the announcements best to me. And that the ship didn’t actually hit anything.

Is Westlant 22 sufficiently important to undertake it on just the port shaft. High risk, sure, but how high is the gain?

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon

Looks pretty important, especially the SRVL work. Here is an article quote. HMS Prince of Wales sailed from Portsmouth today for the east coast of the United States where she will conduct further F-35 flying trials and experimentation with uncrewed aircraft. HMS Prince of Wales will make her first trip to the US following the pattern of the Westlant 18 and Westlant 19 deployments that saw HMS Queen Elizabeth make diplomatic visits, exercise with the USN and conduct developmental flying. She will also stop in New York, Halifax, Canada and make the first visit to the Caribbean by a QEC… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by JohninMK
Robert
Robert
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon

The maximum length of the Verolme dry dock number 7 is 405.0m with a maximum width of 90.0m and a maximum draught of 11.6m.

The maximum draught of the PoW is 11m, so that should fit. Especially because this is the maximum draught of the vessel. Unloading planes and stores will likely reduce the draught to somewhere below 11m.

All the other dry docks, including the one in Amsterdam, are not big enough to handle the draught of the PoW.

Last edited 1 year ago by Robert
George Griffin
George Griffin
1 year ago

This comes at a sad time for the Royal Navy,what with the destroyers engine performance and un-reliable,it is embarrassing for the Navy and we must improve the performance of these very expensive hardware 🤔🤔😐

Lee
Lee
1 year ago

Why is there little mention of utilising the dry dock of Harland and Wolff’s Belfast dock? This yard was the loser in the 2 horse race to get the maintenance contract. Surely if Rosyth is unworkable for whatever reason then Belfast should be next in line rather than going abroad. It may be the facility doesn’t have the equipment required? Keep the work in the UK if possible!

George Amery
George Amery
1 year ago

Hi folks hope all is well.
I’m no expert on warships and have learnt a lot from many of you on this site on all aspects of military issues.
I’m slightly puzzled as why something the size of an item that can damage an aircraft carrier propeller was not picked up by all that sophisticated equipment HMS Prince of Wales has?
Advice as ever welcomed.
Cheers
George

Robert1
Robert1
1 year ago
Reply to  George Amery

Others may be able to confirm but suspect a case that the fancy kit PWLS has is not design for scanning the seabed. Likes of the RN survey ships would pick up on a scan from their arrays, but it’s just not what PWLS is designed for. There maybe current/ex dabbers on here who could offer more insight but from my understanding of her design that’s my thoughts on why.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert1

The new Italian carriers have a mine avoidance sonar. Perhaps that would have spotted whatever PoW hit? Something for the refit wishlist perhaps?

ErwinS
ErwinS
1 year ago

Dock in Amsterdam is to small. Only Rotterdam has docks big enough….

Frank62
Frank62
1 year ago

Hitting the seabed? Isn’t that usually a court martial investigation for the officer in charge?

Chuck
Chuck
1 year ago

So, you sign a multi million contract with the actual company that built your ship, and as soon as the ship is damaged and in need of a large dry dock, you go to another country to get it fixed. I thought that the large container ships came to the UK first, as European ports were too shallow to take them at full load. Send it back to the makers to sort.

Wasn’t some billionaire having problems getting his new yacht out harbour over there? Not linked, I suppose?

Jon
Jon
1 year ago

Amsterdam isn’t an option, the draft of HMS PoW it too great. Rotterdam does, however, have 3 that are suitable.