First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

We'd like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick

More specifically, we'd like those who can afford to pay to start paying. What it comes down to is whether or not you value Daily Maverick. Think of us in terms of your daily cappuccino from your favourite coffee shop. It costs around R35. That’s R1,050 per month on frothy milk. Don’t get us wrong, we’re almost exclusively fuelled by coffee. BUT maybe R200 of that R1,050 could go to the journalism that’s fighting for the country?

We don’t dictate how much we’d like our readers to contribute. After all, how much you value our work is subjective (and frankly, every amount helps). At R200, you get it back in Uber Eats and ride vouchers every month, but that’s just a suggestion. A little less than a week’s worth of cappuccinos.

We can't survive on hope and our own determination. Our country is going to be considerably worse off if we don’t have a strong, sustainable news media. If you’re rejigging your budgets, and it comes to choosing between frothy milk and Daily Maverick, we hope you might reconsider that cappuccino.

We need your help. And we’re not ashamed to ask for it.

Our mission is to Defend Truth. Join Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Britain's giant new warship springs a leak



Britain’s giant new warship springs a leak

19 Dec 2017 0

Britain's future flagship vessel HMS Queen Elizabeth, its biggest-ever warship, has sprung a leak, defence officials admitted Tuesday, only two weeks after it was commissioned into the Royal Navy.

Her Majesty’s Ship Queen Elizabeth, which cost £3.1 billion ($4.1 billion, 3.5 billion euros) to build, has been taking on water for some time due to a problem with a shaft seal.

The 280-metre long aircraft carrier, the most powerful ship Britain his ever built, is undergoing sea trials and is due to enter service in 2020.

“This is the reason why we have the sea trials — to make sure that everything is working absolutely perfectly,” said Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.

“HMS Queen Elizabeth is the most magnificent aircraft carrier in the world.

“She is going to make a significant difference as to what we can actually achieve and what we are able to do as a global power.”

The ship can operate with a crew of 1,000 and 40 aircraft on deck. It weighs 65,000 tonnes.

The problem will be repaired when the warship is in dock at Portsmouth.

Former senior naval officer Rear Admiral Chris Parry told Sky News television the leak was “no big deal”.

“Every ship, to tell you the truth, takes on water. That’s why you have pumps,” he said.

In sea trials, “you stress it right to its extremes, and you’re really looking for faults like this to see what happens”.

BAE Systems, which played a key role in the construction, said the ship could still sail and the problem would be rectified in the new year, a process expected to take a few days.

Britain has been without any carrier strike capability since the government scrapped previous vessels in 2010 as part of austerity measures to curb a huge deficit.

The project had been dogged by questions about the US-built F-35 jets, due to be deployed on the aircraft carrier, and about the need for mammoth aircraft carriers when Britain’s military role in the world has diminished.

Queen Elizabeth II commissioned the ship into the Royal Navy earlier this month.

The ship is named after both the current monarch and England’s Queen Elizabeth I, who reigned from 1558 to 1603. Its sister ship, the HMS Prince of Wales, is still under construction. DM


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted