UK’s £3.2 billion aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales reduced to acting as scrap-yard to keep sister ship afloat

File photo dated 4/2/2022 of Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales which has broken down off the south coast shortly after embarking for exercises in the US. The 65,000-tonne warship left from Portsmouth Naval Base, Hampshire, on Saturday before an "emerging mechanical issue" occurred. Issue date: Monday August 29, 2022. ... HMS Prince of Wales ... 29-08-2022 ... LONDON ... UK ... Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire. Unique Reference No. 68521960 ... See PA story DEFENCE Carrier. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

A STRICKEN Navy aircraft carrier is being stripped for parts to keep its sister ship afloat.

Desperate Navy chiefs ordered mission critical parts to be removed from HMS Prince of Wales after they failed on the flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The £3.2billion aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales is languishing in a dry dock

Critical parts from the aircraft carrier have been transferred to its sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth

The £6.4 billion warships – the largest and most expensive vessels ever built for the Royal Navy – have suffered a series of major breakdowns exhausting supplies of spares.

The parts involved include fuel filters and aircraft lifts which move jets and choppers from the vessels’ hangars to the 280m-long flight decks.

The Navy said it was “common practise in modern navies” to transfer parts between ships of the same class.

A spokesperson said: “It allows ships to remain operationally available and avoids issues such as production delays for bespoke equipment.”

But it comes as HMS Prince of Wales languishes in dry dock for £25 million repairs.

The 65,000 tonne vessel was towed to Rosyth by tugs after conking out in the Solent in August due to a faulty propeller shaft.

Top Brass hoped the repairs would be completed by spring.

But repairs to the starboard screw revealed both driveshafts were misaligned leading to further delays.

HMS Prince of Wales is currently due to be re-floated in June when she returns to Portsmouth for further maintenance, including taking on stores.

The vessels are both designed to carry up 72 aircraft including 36 F-35B Lightning jets.

HOAR revealed HMS Queen Elizabeth was leaking on sea trials in 2017, due to a faulty propellor seal.

We also revealed repeated floods due to shoddy plumbing fused thousands of miles of electric cables HMS Prince of Wales in 2020.

A £100 million Lightning jet crashed off the front of HMS Queen Elizabeth as it crossed the Mediterranean last year after crew left a cheap plastic rain cover in one of the aircrafts air intakes.

Sources said HMS Queen Elizabeth had been “thrashed” after taking on HMS Prince of Wales’ duties last summer.

Fuel filters built to last years have been exhausted in a matter of months, a source said.

But the Navy insisted the problems had not affected their Nato commitments or delayed the carrier strike programme.

HMS Queen Elizabeth sprung a leak on sea trials