THE Prince of Wales has been in another scrape but this time it's the aircraft carrier of the same name that's in need of some TLC.

The £3 billion warship has been laid up at Rosyth Dockyard since October and it's now been confirmed that work to repair "significant damage" to a propeller shaft should be completed in the spring.

HMS Prince of Wales had been suffering from mechanical problems with reports that the ship had broken down near the Isle of Wight last August.

Departure from its home port of Portsmouth for the journey north to Rosyth was delayed until October, due partly to the complex underwater diving work that needed to be completed first – including on the ship's 30-tonne props.

This week, a Royal Navy spokesperson said: “Repairs to HMS Prince of Wales’ starboard shaft are expected to be completed by Spring 2023.

"The ship will then return to Portsmouth for a pre-planned maintenance period.”

The extent of the repairs needed were not known until the 65,000-tonne carrier entered the dry dock at Rosyth.

The 750-strong crew of the HMS Prince of Wales are remaining with the ship while the work is ongoing.

Royal Navy divers had inspected the starboard shaft and found "significant damage to the shaft and the propeller and some superficial damage to the rudder".

Rear Admiral Steve Moorhouse had explained that a coupling which joins the final two sections of the shaft had failed and described this as "an extremely unusual fault".

The most powerful warships ever built in the UK, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales were assembled at Rosyth Dockyard at a cost of more than £6 billion.

Construction started in July 2009 and the first carrier was completed in July 2014. HMS Prince of Wales followed in December 2017.

The number of crew can rise to 1,600 when aircraft are onboard and the flight deck is the size of three football pitches.

The need to repair the HMS Prince of Wales meant it could not sail to the USA as planned and take part in the Atlantic Future Forum last autumn.

HMS Queen Elizabeth was sent instead to New York.