The Ministry of Defence has appointed an alliance team led by BAE Systems to deliver its Type 45 Power Improvement Project (PIP) and resolve power generation issues faced by the anti-air destroyers.
According to a press release we received from BAE Systems (the prime contractor for the vessels), the defence giant have joined with Cammell Laird and naval design and technical support expert BMT to win the contract, and yesterday signed a charter on board HMS Diamond along with representatives from the Royal Navy and MoD.
Controversy erupted in 2016 when it was revealed that due to issues with the Northrop Grumman intercooler on the WR-21 gas turbines in the warm climate of the Persian Gulf, the vessels were not operating as originally envisioned. As a solution, this multimillion-pound refit adding additional power generation capacity is planned.
Despite media exaggeration however, the class have actually managed to sail routinely in recent times due to a series of workarounds and temporary rectifications, even able to deploy to the Gulf and other warmer locations. This permanent fix is expected to remove the issue altogether.
The project will improve “resilience” in the Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyer power and propulsion system by replacing the existing two diesel generators, fitting an additional diesel generator and modifying the high voltage system on each ship. The alliance has drawn on each member’s expertise across the defence and commercial sectors, and draws on proven power and propulsion capability and over 30 years of unique Type 45 design, build and support experience.
David Mitchard, Managing Director, BAE Systems Maritime Services, said:
“We are immensely proud to support the Royal Navy’s Type 45 fleet whether at home or on deployment around the world. By combining the collective knowledge, experience and skills of BAE Systems, Cammell Laird and BMT we are demonstrating our commitment to present a robust technical solution with an innovative commercial alliance. Our aim is to rapidly restore command confidence in the power and propulsion system of the Type 45 fleet, demonstrate value for money and safeguard vital skills for future generations of warship support.”
Jeremy Berwick, Managing Director, BMT Defence and Security, said:
“We firmly believe in the power of teamwork and this agreement sets the seal on the coming together of three highly complementary partners to form the very best team. We look forward to working with our partners to deliver a fresh, lean and rapid solution for the Royal Navy.”
Linton Roberts, Managing Director, Cammell Laird, said:
“Cammell Laird is delighted and proud to have been selected to undertake the Type 45 Power Improvement Programme in partnership with BAE Systems and BMT. This highly collaborative approach is very much in line with the Government’s National Shipbuilding Strategy by maximising the effectiveness of the complementary expertise and experience of each partner. The Ministry of Defence has driven a challenging competition for this contract, and we are confident that our Alliance will deliver a very innovative technical solution to the Royal Navy.”
The scope of the PIP competition was split into two lots, comprising major procurement, design and integration of the solution, and the physical installation and replacement of equipment onboard the Type 45 vessels. The BAE Systems-led team competed in and won both lots, with work set to begin immediately.
The installation and replacement of equipment is planned to take place at Cammell Laird’s shipyard in Birkenhead, Merseyside, before a series of harbour and sea trials will enable the ships to return to their home at Portsmouth Naval Base, where they will return to Royal Navy operations supported by BAE Systems.