Leak found on Britain's new $4B aircraft carrier 'Queen Elizabeth'

By Susan McFarland  |  Dec. 19, 2017 at 9:26 AM
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Dec. 19 (UPI) -- A leak was found on Britain's new HMS Queen Elizabeth -- the Royal Navy's largest and most powerful warship ever built, officials said.

The aircraft carrier, commissioned earlier this month at Her Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth, is worth $4.13 billion.

Military officials said the warship's leak was caused by an issue with a shaft seal and is scheduled for repair.

A Royal Navy spokesman said the issue won't prevent the ship from sailing or its sea trials.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth, which has an estimated service life of 50 years, has been leaking for a while.

Royal Navy Admiral Chris Parry said the leak is "no big deal," and told Sky News that it's normal for every vessel to take on some water.

"That's why you have pumps," he said.

Parry added that the very reason for sea trials is to test the vessel to its extremes and look for faults.

"You get this all the time, you've got very complicated engineering under the water, it's operating obviously at sea and every yachtsman will tell you they take in water somewhere," he said.

The British vessel completed its second stage of trials off the south coast of England earlier this year, and will undergo additional testing in the United States next year.

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