Ahead of the largest Nato exercise since the Cold War, the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth experienced an “issue” with a faulty propeller shaft during final checks this weekend.
In a post on social media platform X, the Royal Navy said an issue with a coupling on HMS Queen Elizabeth’s starboard propeller shaft was identified and “will not sail on Sunday.” Instead, the sister ship HMS Prince of Wales (keep in mind, UK only has two carriers in service) will take her place on the Steadfast Defender drills off Norway’s Arctic coast in March.
Routine pre-sailing checks yesterday identified an issue with a coupling on @HMSQNLZ starboard propeller shaft. As such, the ship will not sail on Sunday.@HMSPWLS will take her place on NATO duties and will set sail for Exercise Steadfast Defender as soon as possible. pic.twitter.com/ImAeTU80vi
— Royal Navy (@RoyalNavy) February 3, 2024
HMS Queen Elizabeth’s mechanical woes come after Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said a British aircraft could soon be sent to the Red Sea to combat Iran-backed Houthi rebels amid the worsening situation as the US and UK launch bombing raids across the Middle East.
However, ministers were recently warned by the House of Commons Defence Committee that the military is not prepared for an all-out war due to stockpile shortages and recruitment crises. The committee also said the military is “consistently overstretched.”
In recent weeks, the head of the British Army, General Patrick Sanders, called on leaders to “mobilize the nation” to prepare for war with Russia.
Last month, we attended SHOT Show in Las Vegas (read: here & here). We had a lengthy conversation with a European tier 1 operator with DoD contracts to train Ukranians. He told us World War 3 started in 2014.
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