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.

HMS Diamond new generator installation.

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.”

Charter signing on-board HMS Diamond

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.

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Lee H

Morning all
One good thing about the Sec Def is he seems to be getting things moving.
Activity and achievement, novel for the defence sector.


I agree, there have been too many defence secs who were content to tow the party line, this one seems quite happy to ruffle a few feathers, not a bad thing.
Good to see expertise being brought together from across the country to address this issue. While it was never the catastrophe portrayed it was a problem, no doubt.

andy reeves

good to hear positive news for a change, now whats going on with the t 31?


Yes, yes folks but who’s paying? Or is the answer in the small print?


The MoD, please keep up.

Ben P

They have the program timeline laid out. You can easily look at it if you actually care.


No, who is paying, the American company I hope. An oversight regarding hot climates is a nonsense, the RN has operated globally for centuries. Someone got the sums wrong, and I doubt it was the RN. This is a warranty job plain and simple. For your information I do care, hence the question. The answer, please.

David Steeper

Maurice the really interesting thing will be if they ever get another engine/propulsion contract from the MoD.


Here you go. Page 4. Competitive design contracts awarded after Easter so should see a CGI of the Babcock / BMT offering soon.

Andy G

Cant wait to see their offer


Well, BAE and Cammell have shown their hand so the Babcock team knows what it has to beat.

Mr J Bell

Whilst the type 45 are in dry dock having new diesel generators fitted please, please, please see sense and fit strike length mk41 vl systems. This is the only way to make the most of our megre surface fleet numbers. Mk41 turns the type 45 into a true multi purpose warship enabling:
Deep surface strike via tomahawk
Long range anti ship via LRASM
Anti ship via Norwegian anti ship missile
Anti submarine via ASROC
This is desperately needed!

Geoffrey Roach

Couldn’t agree with you more Mr Bell and well said Lee Maybe we are getting somewhere at last!


Firstly, If you fit the strike length MK41 in the existing space that was put aside for it during build the crew will lose its rowing and exercise machines…they wont be happy…

Secondly, fitting a Mk41 is easy…integrating all of the wish list weapons into the shore side supply system, the ships combat system and the Shore Training system would take years at least 5 years for just type from initial ordering and that’s on a good day.


Cantdo attitude wont help our ships survive and sink the enemy will it?


We’re going to have to get weapons for the Mk41 into the system by the time the first T26 is commissioned anyway. Perhaps time a Mk41 fit to T45 to coincide with that?


Hope so. ASROC and Perseus?


My preference would be to add Camm launch tubes and install Aster 30 NT block 1 to give the class some BMD capability. I would leave land strike to the Type 26 and Astutes snd naval gunfire support to Type 31, installing the Mk8 if that is what it takes to get under the the £250m budget. Before taking any doctrinal decisions on ASROC I would like to know how this exercise turns out. Merlin is pretty good sub hunter and killer and Type 45 does have a bow sonar. Agree regarding NSM for self defence against surface threats,… Read more »


No need to fit Sea Ceptor tubes, they’re quad packable in the existing Sylver A50. I’m with you on the Aster 30 upgrade, between that and the expanded load quad SCs give in place of Aster 15, we could actually get away with just a single T45 escorting the carrier (plus a T26 or 2) Honestly, at this stage I highly doubt the T45 will ever get Mk41. Regardless, it doesn’t really need it that much; the A50 cells allow it to do its AAW mission, Tomahawk would be nice but isn’t critical, and it couldn’t use ASROC to its… Read more »


I haven’t read anything to suggest that Perseus will be ready before 2030. You have to wonder what the T45s, T26s and T31s will actually have until then. Surely the RN isn’t expecting to keep Harpoon for another 12 years?


It would be nice if they could speed up the Perseus programme, but for now 2030 is the expectation.

The RN didn’t even expect to keep Harpoon this long, let alone another decade, hence why it was due out of service last year. Tragically, as with every other issue the forces currently have, theres not enough money to remedy the situation without sacrificing something else important.

In a perfect world, Perseus would’ve been ready now. In a better world, we’d be buying LRASM. As it stands, NSM offers a cheaper yet still effective solution


are you connected in any way to RN or simply a fantasist?


Cost-wise, it may be easier to pick a couple of the weapons from your list and certify them for the already-installed A50 VLS. The Aster 30 (especially in NT type) is a genuinely good missile, and they can quad-pack Sea Ceptor for short range air defence in those tubes too. In my opinion, leave the ASW to the T26 but I fully agree that an ASM and land strike missile would make sense. The Norwegians have already modified their NSM to be compatible with Mark41 VLS, and it’s got a land strike capability, so it wouldn’t be difficult to set… Read more »


Would the NSM fit in the A50, or would you need the full strike length A70?


NSM is just under 4m long on its own, and the A50 can hold missiles up to 5m, but doing that would use up VLS space that the T45 doesn’t really have to waste. A canister launched version to replace Harpoon would be better

andy reeves

it already has most of that. thats what makes them so expensive to build and why we only got 6 of the planned 12

Ben P

We lost Type 45 7 and 8 to divert funds to the type 26 program.


Good news. Light at the end of the tunnel. UK industry teamwork is becoming a norm to everyone’s benefit.


Is there even space for strike length cells in the Type 45? Would we sacrifice space from the current missile fit of Aster 15/30? Which are used for area and point defence which is the vessels primary function. What about the Aster 30NT? I’m all for flexibility and maximising the use of all our naval vessels, however the money spent on integrating the Mk41 and it’s weapons onto the platform would be pretty expensive and would this then take money away from say the Type 31e programme. Ultimately we need to prioritise the money we have, I would rather have… Read more »


There is space. Forward of the A50s if memory serves.


The Type 45 was originally designed to accommodate 64 strike length tubes, and theres still space to fit 12 MK41 cells in addition to the existing 48 Sylver A50s (presumably mixing Mk41 and Sylver cells is less than an optimal, hence why the max fit would be 60 cells instead of 64). I agree with you to an extent: the cost of fitting 12 Mk41 cells to all 6 Type 45s would cost as much as a Type 31, and right now we need the Type 31 more. The only additions the Type 45s need are a new canister launched… Read more »


By the way, the pictures are misleading. They are not the new Gensets going in …they are the existing Wartsilla units being exchanged out.
Some one did mention to me the new Gensets wont be Wartsilla but MTU or MAN I cannot remember which…
They was even talk of diverting the T23 DG re-engine project units to T45 to save time on the procurement .


If its the same MTU diesels chosen for Type 26 they are 3MW each versus the 2MW of the Warstsila units. This would increase diesel power from 4MW to 9MW.


It is going to use diesels for cruise. 9MW seems a bit short on power for this. Maybe at least 15MW.

Stephen G.

It would be nice if we were making our own diesel engines, we make hardly anything compared with other major European countries.


MAN bought up the UK industrial diesel makers from GEC in 2000.


Agree with the comments about arming them properly (with MK41 VLS) while the power issues are resolved.

Still no indicators about when this will start, how long each ship will take, which order of ships.

Will they do anything about the fact that they are noisy and can be track by subs from a long distance ?


Upgrading the diesels such that they can operate on these alone will provide an opportunity to create more quiet mode of propulsion. It would be good if they can take some of the design ideas from the Type 26 into this.


“This permanent fix is expected to remove the issue altogether.“

The power outage issue, or the inter-cooler…

In other words, will these vessels be carrying extra baggage throughout their lifespan?


As I understand it the purpose of the intercooled is to increase the thermodynamic efficiency of the turbines and thereby reduce fuel consumption. The IEP system as whole was designed I think such that the expected cut over from diesels to turbine occurred at quite a low speed, once you tootled out of harbour. Problem is that in warm input water the efficiency of the turbine intercooler arrangement ( 2nd law of Thermodynamics) falls to a level such that the when the diesels cut out the turbines are in a part of their thermodynamic envelope where they are generating less… Read more »


Allow me: you are totally incorrect. grade F.




I just changed the intercooler in my 8 year old Nissan SUV and it now goes like rocket as the intercooler had a crack and corresponding warm air leak, it’s 35C here most days, 🙂


The PIP is will provide double power redundancy on the Type 45s and enable future additions to the class – lasers etc. The intercooler component has been redesigned and tested successfully in a recent middle east deployment.

The last failure of the Type 45 power units was many years ago. Operationally they had developed a process to bypass the intercooler when they knew it was at it’s limit.


Interesting. Taking the opportunity to install more power is a smart move.


As I stated on another response, if they’re smart they’ll take some of the Type 26 design aspects and apply it to the Type 45 and be able to have a quiet diesel electric propulsion mode and plenty of power when they need it.


Yeah. Understood. My knowledge here is sparse but I am guessing the ‘ideal’ ASW drive is designed in from the get go: diesel electric with the diesels mounted on dampers on a deck which is above the waterline. That said it has to be smart to take the opportunity to make the ship quieter when cruising.

andy reeves

my son is on duncan and says it works so well not even a lightbulb has needed fixing since she became operational, most of the negativity around these fine ships is media inspired drivel. a quiet news day,’lets make something up’. don’t believe all you hear.


This is it. The operational aspect of the power issues were sorted a long time ago by bypassing the intercooler when it reached a certain temperature.


I’ve looked everywhere, but never seen any mention as to why they don’t just fix the part that’s defective / doesn’t meet requirements?! I’m all for future proofing with additional generating power, but why not fix the intercooler?!


This component has already been redesigned and has been tested successfully with a deployment in the middle east. The replacement of diesels is to ensure the Type 45 has double redundancy for power. It will also mean they can introduce things like lasers at a later date.

Even without this the operational improvements are such that it’s been years without any issues.

Ben P

The issue is with a part of the two gas turbines, these are extremely expensive and hard to remove from the hull. So what they are doing is they are replacing the two diesel generators with three more powerful diesel generators. They then plan to switch the roles, the diesels will primarily run the ship and the gas turbines will give it extra power when it needs to go fast. FYI for anyone that wants to bring BAE up. This issue is not their fault, the government/MOD wanted to put a new unproven design in the ships against the advice… Read more »


No disrespect to NSM but upgrading Harpoon would be a more obvious upgrade path for the RN, and cheaper? Also the P-8s can/will carry it so you could realise some economies of scale.

Ben P

I agree. The US Navy plans to continue using Harpoon as well as LRASM. So it is not as if it is going out of date. We just need to either buy new missiles or upgrade our current ones. The US are buying Harpoon 2, which is a more intelligent version of the missile. Boeing are also offering the Harpoon Block II+ ER, which nearly doubles the range of the missile, they can upgrade old missiles for half the cost of new ones.

andy reeves

media rubbish, the ships are fine.

Levi Goldsteinberg

Gavin Williamson continues to go up in my estimation


The glory could have been Fallon’s if he had not fallen from grace.

Ben P

Fallon was a coward. A def sec needs the guts to stand up to the government.

Rick O'shea

Mine too, he makes the right noises albeit in a pretty sqeaky voice but seems to be pretty quickly sorting some of the things that have been dragging on for years.

Of course his real acid test will be the upcoming Defence Modernisation Programme 2018

Mr Williamson please have the the Mk41 VLS cells fitted when the Type 45 are in dry dock!!!!!!!


Have to agree with comments about the realistic priorities for the T45s. Make these engine modifications and add scope for future power needs, Aster Block 30 NT, plus Martlet and Sea Venom for the choppers.

Strike length VLS should have been added at the outset but is now too expensive to implement. We have other priorities i.e. get all 8 T26s built and make the T31s the best they can be for the price.

Lee H

Afternoon all As I said in earlier posts elsewhere the new Sec Def is new, he has the patronage of the PM and wants to make his mark. He was also chief whip, he knows people – specially what needs to be done to get things through the party. We can only hope those in MoD recognise this, an energetic team of ministers wanting to achieve stuff, not living in a self inflicted circle of doom. Time to clear out some others at the top of MoD and get some new thinkers in there, those who want to change things… Read more »

Peter Crisp

This may be a comically simplistic option but could they have just bunged in 3 or 4 Bugatti Chiron engines to create some extra power? It might work and would sound awesome.

A. Smith

Going on past form of Government spending cuts I can’t see the Type 45’s getting anything other than the announced engine upgrades. The Government will spend as little as possible on these ships and focus their attentions to the Type 26 and 31e’s. The best we can hope for with the Type 45’s is BMD capability with box launched NSM.


And how many destroyers does this great blue water navy possess? 30? 20? 15? 12? How about ten? No, not even that! ………six, yes 6!…….and even they don’t work properly! The UK navy is a joke! Pop, fizz, glug!


Peder……you’re a c**k

That is all. Goodbye tovarishch

Daniele Mandelli

Lol! Keep posting thus stuff. Others spend time here as they are interested. You are just wasting time in your life.


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HMS Dauntless is first to undergo this refit in 2020, be interesting to see if she’s fully back online in time to be one of the two Tupe 45s escorting Big Lizzie on her first operational cruise in 2021? Daring is next inline for the generator swap out refit.