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Leak discovered on Navy’s new £3.1bn aircraft carrier

The carrier is the biggest and most powerful ever built by the UK.

The UK’s new £3.1 billion aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is leaking as a result of an issue with a shaft seal.

The warship was only accepted into the Royal Navy fleet by the Queen earlier this month.

At 280m long and with an estimated half-a-century working life, the behemoth is the biggest and most powerful ever built by the UK.

It is understood the vessel has been leaking for some time.

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The Queen during the commissioning of HMS Queen Elizabeth earlier this month (Chris Jackson/PA)

A Royal Navy spokesman said: “An issue with a shaft seal has been identified during HMS Queen Elizabeth’s sea trials; this is scheduled for repair while she is alongside at Portsmouth.

“It does not prevent her from sailing again and her sea trials programme will not be affected.”

The aircraft carrier weighs 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed in excess of 25 knots.

A number of ship-building yards around the country were involved in the build – these include Govan and Scotstoun in Glasgow, Appledore in Devon, Cammell Laird in Liverpool, A&P on the Tyne in Newcastle and Portsmouth.

Around 10,000 people worked on construction of the ship, made up in sections at yards around the UK and transported to Rosyth, Fife, where it was assembled.

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