HMS Queen Elizabeth
HMS Queen Elizabeth's sprinkler system accidentally misfires - File photo REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

On Sunday (28 January), the Royal Navy's biggest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, was hit by an accidental glitch that triggered its sprinkler system after a routine exercise.

The system, which normally triggers in case of a fire emergency, misfired and jets of water started gushing into the warship's main hangar at Portsmouth's naval base.

The accidental glitch comes just a few weeks after the £3.1bn warship — UK's most expensive ever — suffered from a major leak due to a faulty seal on the propeller shaft. It leaked some 200 litres of water per hour until its builder Aircraft Carrier Alliance made necessary repairs.

After the sprinkler glitch, it was thought that the incident may have caused some damage to the hangar but officials from the Navy confirmed to Daily Mail that there was no critical damage in any way. The crew aboard was quick to respond and within minutes, they were able to shut off the system and drain the water out, Navy officials added.

A video too appeared on the internet showing water gushing down from a section of the hangar.

A source told the UK publication that the issue was minor but, it is still not clear why or how the sprinkler system activated. "It certainly is effective - that's good to know," the source added.

Meanwhile, addressing the issue, a Royal Navy spokesman said: "We can confirm that following a routine exercise alongside, the fire warning system was inadvertently triggered on-board HMS Queen Elizabeth and some sprays activated, but she remains on track with her trials programme."

The 65,000-tonne vessel's departure was delayed due to the sprinkler system fault, but the Ministry of Defence said that this was only the starting of the two-week long period during which the vessel is supposed to leave. The ship's trial programme will reportedly run for two months.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, which was commissioned on 7 December 2017, is capable of carrying nearly 40 aircraft. Its construction took more than eight years and around 10,000 people as well as a number of ship-building yards around the country helped build the warship.