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UK's new $4.2 billion aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has leak

Staff Writer |
Britain’s biggest ever warship, the new 3.1 billion pound ($4.2 billion) aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, has a leak and needs repairs, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

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The 65,000-tonne ship is hailed as Britain’s most advanced military vessel and was only commissioned by the queen two weeks ago but it has a problem with a shaft seal that was identified during sea trials, the MoD said.

“Sea trials are precisely for finding manageable teething problems like this and rectifying them,” a Royal Navy spokesman said.

“Repairs under contract are already underway alongside in Portsmouth and the sea trials will take place as planned in the New Year, when we will continue to rigorously test the ship before she enters service.”

The Sun newspaper reported that the 280-metre (920-foot) warship, the nation’s future flagship vessel, was letting in 200 liters of water every hour and the fix would cost millions of pounds.

A defense source said the navy was aware that the ship, which took eight years to build, had an issue when it was handed over by manufacturers and the Sun said the builders would have to foot the repair bill.

The Aircraft Carrier Alliance - a consortium including British engineering companies BAE Systems (BAES.L) and Babcock (BAB.L), and the UK division of France’s Thales (TCFP.PA) - built the Queen Elizabeth and its sister aircraft carrier, the HMS Prince of Wales, as apart of a 6.2 billion pound project.

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