A flood on board the Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales has delayed the programme. The navy has said it will not have a long-term effect on the regeneration of the UK’s Carrier Strike capability.

The Sun revealed the flood, which occurred in October, had caused damage to one of the ship’s engine rooms and reported that the damage would leave the aircraft carrier stuck alongside Portsmouth naval base for the next six months.

The Sun added that the ship was barred from leaving Portsmouth until next Spring over safety concerns.

According to The Sun, the flood was caused by a burst fire main that left the engine room and electrical cabinets submerged for over 24 hours.

A spokesperson for the Royal Navy told Naval Technology: “HMS Prince of Wales is alongside at HMNB Portsmouth conducting repairs following a flood in an engine room.

“The ship’s company are getting ready to sail for further training and trials in 2021.”

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Despite the damage, it is expected that the flood will not cause any long-term delays to the UK’s Carrier Strike programme which aims to achieve full operating capability in 2023.

The ship had been due to sail to the US for F-35B integration trials. A source told The Sun said: “It’s embarrassing. The America trip took years of planning and we’ve had to say we can’t come.

“It will take months to repair the damage. Costs will run to millions.”

Few official details have been revealed about the extent of the damage to the vessel.

HMS Prince of Wales is the second of two new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. The first, HMS Queen Elizabeth is set to embark on its maiden deployment next year.