Royal Navy: HMS Prince of Wales "could be sold" as naval sources raise concern

National reports are warning that there is a possibility that HMS Prince of Wales could be sold.
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As reported in the Daily Mail, they state there is a scenario where the £3.2bn aircraft carrier is sold to a friendly nation to drum up cash for the Royal Navy. This comes after reports of no further increases in defence spending being earmarked in next week's budget.

Sources told the national publication that the possible move would be divisive, but could be forced upon naval top brass as soon as 2028 if no more money is allocated to the Senior Service. One source said the nightmare scenario was discussed by members of the Maritime Enterprise Planning Group - looking at future strategies.

Naval sources have warned that there is scenario where HMS Prince of Wales could be sold, national reports say. Picture: Habibur RahmanNaval sources have warned that there is scenario where HMS Prince of Wales could be sold, national reports say. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Naval sources have warned that there is scenario where HMS Prince of Wales could be sold, national reports say. Picture: Habibur Rahman
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"The second carrier is an asset that is held in reserve and is a very expensive piece of rarely-used equipment," the sources said. "So if we want to address balance sheet issues, disposing of her or sharing her with say an AUKUS (Australia, UK and US) ally, is an option."

Government sources told the Daily Mail that the Royal Navy remains committed to both carriers, but 'changes in government and budgets' could change decision making. It has previously been mooted that the Treasury and government do not trust the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to spend money efficiently.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, a former defence secretary, reported on X that she met with chancellor Jeremy Hunt to discuss what the city's residents and businesses want from the budget on March 6. "I discussed the work I’m doing with UK civil reserve and others to deliver a greater return for our defence and contingency budgets and increase capability," she said. "Our first duty is to protect our nation and its interests."

HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Queen Elizabeth were approved for construction by then prime minister Gordon Brown. The Royal Navy said the reports of the carrier being sold are "categorically incorrect" and the force is "fully committed" to operating both ships.

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