‘HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier to go to Amsterdam for repairs’

British aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales suffered technical problems after departure and may need repairs. Various British media reported this this morning. Added one possible location this afternoon: Amsterdam.

HMS Prince of Wales in archive image. (Photo: British Navy)

The vessel, which set off on Saturday for a three-month voyage, was found to be experiencing technical problems after a few nautical miles. Starboard propeller shaft failure is significant and repair is highly probable. So the question is whether exercises with F-35B fighter jets and Banshee drones can continue.

HMS Prince of Wales said goodbye on Saturday, but soon had to anchor south-east of the Isle of Wight. On Monday, the vessel was towed to another anchorage near Portsmouth. Here the sea calmed down and allowed divers to survey the ship for damage.

There is now greater clarity about the severity of the problems with the propeller shaft. Rear Admiral Steve Moorhouse said in a video message on Twitter that the ship may need repairs and will have an impact on Prince of Wales’ schedule. The British press spoke of a “significant technical glitch”.

Rosyth or Amsterdam?
If repairs are indeed required and the Prince of Wales docks, it can only be done at Rosyth, Scotland in the United Kingdom, according to the Naval Lookout site. The shipyard is located where the ship was assembled after construction parts were transported to Rosyth from all over the United Kingdom.

Rosyth and Amsterdam
From Portsmouth you are closer to Amsterdam (266 nautical miles, 1 day sailing at 10 knots) than Rosyth near Edinburgh (566 nautical miles, 2 days sailing at 10 knots). Rotterdam is even closer (238 miles). (Map: Openstreetmap.org)

This afternoon, there was a report from George Allison, a generally well-known defense journalist UK Defense Journal “Damaged aircraft carrier may go to dry dock in Amsterdam for repairs”. According to a source who told Allison, Amsterdam is considered an easier option than Rosyth.

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Allison did not say where the 284-meter-long ship might enter the dock.

Or Rotterdam?
A limiting factor in Amsterdam is the Damen Shipyard dock there. The Prince of Wales is no match for the largest dry dock in Amsterdam, Damon Shipprey, where Karel Dorman previously docked. If the British were looking for a yard in the Netherlands, they would end up in Rotterdam. There too the biggest docks are in Damon’s hands. Damen Verolme (Rotterdam) can accommodate vessels up to 405 metres, Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam has a dock for vessels up to 308 meters and Damen Shiprepair & Conversion in Schiedam accommodates vessels up to 305 metres.

The fourth dock in the country is in Amsterdam (250 meters), but that dock is not only too short, but too narrow.

If the Prince of Wales did indeed make an emergency docking in Rotterdam, it would be a nice addition to the city, which is hosting World Port Days this weekend.

This article will be updated as news becomes available

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