The British Royal Navy’s largest and most expensive carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, is commissioned at Portsmouth Naval Base, England. (Jeff Martin/Staff)

LONDON — The British Royal Navy’s newest and most expensive aircraft carrier needs repairs after a faulty shaft seal was identified during sea trials.

Officials say the HMS Queen Elizabeth, which cost roughly £3 billion (U.S. $4 billion) to build, will be “scheduled for repair” at Portsmouth.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said Tuesday the repairs wouldn’t be paid for by taxpayers because contractors who built the ship would be responsible.

A Royal Navy statement says the problem won’t prevent the ship from sailing or interfere with the extensive sea trials program underway.

Queen Elizabeth II earlier this month attended the commissioning ceremony of the carrier, which is named after the monarch.