– Yesterday, routine pre-departure checks revealed a problem with the clutch in HMS Queen Elizabeth's starboard drive shaft. Therefore, the ship will not sail on Sunday. Vice Fleet Admiral Andrew Burns said HMS Prince of Wales would assume her NATO duties and depart to take part in Exercise Steadfast Defender as soon as possible.
This means that the British Navy will not be able to send an aircraft carrier to the Red Sea region, where the US-British operation against the Houthi rebels in Yemen is taking place, because the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are the only aircraft carriers in the region. Royal Navy. Deputy Defense Secretary James Hebbey mentioned the possibility of sending an aircraft carrier earlier this week.
The British were not ready for war?
The failure of HMS Queen Elizabeth is the latest news to cast doubt on the preparedness of the British Armed Forces in the event of a possible future war. Additionally, in August 2022, HMS Prince of Wales experienced a similar problem with the propeller and was subsequently replaced by HMS Queen Elizabeth during exercises off the coast of North America.
A Ministry of Defense spokesman said on Sunday that the problem on HMS Queen Elizabeth was “separate and unrelated” to an earlier fault on its sister ship. – The problem identified is related to the ship's shaft connections. He explained that the ship's drive shafts are too large to be made from a single piece of metal, so each shaft consists of three sections connected by shaft connections that hold the shaft sections together.
Steadfast Defender is NATO's largest exercise since the end of the Cold War. More than 40 ships from 24 countries will participate in the maritime segment. As part of it, the carrier strike group will participate in the annual Joint Warrior exercises off the coast of northern Scotland, and then join the Northern Response Exercise – the naval portion of Steadfast Defender – which will take place in March on the Arctic coast. Norway.
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