HMS Diamond, a Type 45 Destroyer, deployed as part of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Carrier Strike Group but had to detach from the group for repairs in July before re-joining the group later.

We now know what those issues were thanks to a session of the Defence Select Committee. Earlier this month, during a meeting of the Defence Committee, the committee sought evidence for their report ‘The Navy: purpose and procurement’. The transcript is below.

Mark Francois MP:

“These ships are £1 billion a pop. I’m sorry, but the taxpayer deserves better than this from the Royal Navy. What happened to Diamond? What was the problem?”

Vice Admiral Chris Gardner:

“Diamond suffered a failure of one of her gas turbines, basically, and we had to replace it.”

Mark Francois MP:

“So it was an engine problem.”

Vice Admiral Chris Gardner: “It was an engine problem.”

Mark Francois MP:

“Okay, because I spoke to a journalist today who said that the MoD flat-out denied that.”

Vice Admiral Chris Gardner:

“Well, I don’t know who in the MoD it was, but it wasn’t me, and I am responsible for those ships.”

Mark Francois MP:

“It was a propulsion problem.”

Vice Admiral Chris Gardner:

“It was.”

Mark Francois MP:

“Okay, well that’s cleared that one up, but even if we put two to sea to defend the carrier and one breaks, in terms of deterrence they must laugh at us.”

Vice Admiral Chris Gardner:

“I don’t think they laugh at the capabilities of a Type 45.”

HMS Diamond is now back with the Carrier Strike Group which is currently in the Middle East.

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Gunbuster
Gunbuster
17 days ago

So…It was a pure GT issue not the recuperater /inter cooler which has caused all of the other issues.

GTs go bang occasionally and when they do its usually without warning. The first you know about it is high vibration warnings, the module fire alarm usually alarm goes off and the flight deck and upper deck experience the plink, plink, plink of bits of hot, shattered turbine blades.

Steve M
Steve M
17 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Would the issue with intercoolers have cause excessive stress/load on the GT’s, if so how many other might go pop?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
17 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Quite.

And with one GT and three diesels operational she would have been able to go to war.

Maybe not a lot of sprinting and maybe have a limited top speed but she could and would be able to fight albeit without the redundancy of a second GT to fall back on.

Joe16
Joe16
17 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Yeah, we had one do similar and that’s pure onshore power generation. No heaving ship etc. to throw anything out of misalignment etc.

Daveyb
Daveyb
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Do the Navy carry out SOAP sampling on the GTs?

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Damn another unwelcome Fod plod cheers Stokes

Harry Nelson
Harry Nelson
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Concur with that…… Shame they can’t do at sea engine replacements like the old CVS 😉

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Don’t modern turbine casings contain any fragmentation?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
16 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

They come. Out of the. Flue

Steve M
Steve M
17 days ago

Okay, well that’s cleared that one up, but even if we put two to sea to defend the carrier and one breaks, in terms of deterrence they must laugh at us.”  Vice Admiral Chris Gardner: “I don’t think they laugh at the capabilities of a Type 45.” Don’t think the capabilites of the T-45 system in doubt SAMPSON is great, but when UK Flagship only protected by 48 Medium & 48 Short range SAM missiles on UK main AAW Destroyer and 50% gets left behind doesn’t leave much in our CSG defence ability as a deterence. Glad we had… Read more »

Last edited 17 days ago by Steve M
Goldilocks
Goldilocks
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Eversten is AAW frigate

Steve M
Steve M
17 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

Ok, so i know some ahve said perhaps T-83 should be sensor / system platform then have number of smaller ships (maybe even drone ships) full of Missile silo attached an any as required for operation / Deployment, I think you could fit a couple of VLS in 1 of these https://products.damen.com/en/ranges/combi-freighter/combi-freighter-3850 😀

Quill
Quill
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Interesting, I was thinking along the same lines, interconnectivity between ships in the fleet is how the T26s are getting data on how to launch their missiles other than Sea Ceptor and guide them so I did come to the same conclusion a drone system with VLS would be a relatively cheaper solution of expanding a fleets arsenal without having to make more expensive and time consuming to build crewed ships or even having a minimally crewed ship that just maintains the small ‘drone’ vessel as every ship at sea tends to experience issues that require fixing. Of course the… Read more »

DRS
DRS
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

This is one example why you need some missile capability on the carriers. Either 24 or 48 Sea Ceptor. If something gets incapacitated either through attack or normal wear and tear issues you are with vastly reduced protection screen or without one at all. For the sake of XX millions you are putting 1-2k lives and an asset worth 5-6bn at risk (when planes etc are all on board)

The Big Man
The Big Man
17 days ago
Reply to  DRS

You do off course have the air wing. They are quite tooled up.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
16 days ago
Reply to  The Big Man

All five of them if our cousins aren’t on board.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
16 days ago
Reply to  DRS

And there’s capacity. As conflict looks more likely, so the a/carriers would be given more point defence.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
16 days ago
Reply to  DRS

With you on this DRS, and this has been bright before. I’d vote for two banks of 24 CAMM or I bank 24 and two smaller banks of 12. Forward, Starboard, and rear/aft both sides. Every other navy has SAM protection on their carriers. Or at least put in some 40mm/30mm of Dragonfire. If one Phalanx goes bing… can two cover all the angles and vertical?

The Big Man
The Big Man
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

As GB has told us many times. HMS Diamond left the CSG for repairs as the threat level determined this was acceptable. The T45 can run on one GT, it just has no redundancy in that situation. Although it has not happened yet, the T45 is getting a significant lethality upgrade soon. Also, as GB has told us many times, the Arleigh Burke’s currently operate a two shots one kill system and so technically have the same number of missile shots as the current T45 which operate one shot one kill. Flight III AB’s apparently will move to one shot… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Sullivans has 96 tubes, split between AAW, ASW and land attack (no one knows what the mix was), so broadly speaking the same number as both T45s. But the AN/SPY-1 radar and SM missile combination utilises semi-active homing to target, while Sea Viper is fire and forget. Essentially, the Sullivans needs to launch 2 missiles at each threat to give the same kill likelihood as a single missile from a T45. In other words, AB = T45 when it comes to effective magazine capacity. Once the Burke Flight IIIs come along with AN/SPY-6 and the latest block active homing SM… Read more »

Pmichael
Pmichael
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

It’s okay the Dutch were there.

James
James
16 days ago
Reply to  Pmichael

We arent at war, wouldnt matter if no one was present.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
17 days ago

Bit rich of politicians grilling the RN on a situation that they themselves created, over multiple governments from both sides.

NickC
NickC
17 days ago

Does anyone seriously think any politician can think further than the end of the week? They should all have to spend a week or more in a slit trench in the Brecon Beacons in winter, or several days, also in winter, in a frigate somewhere in the North Atlantic north of Iceland, to get some feel of what the Services actually do. That might make a few of them take a longer view, and realise that today’s decisions will have an impact for the next ten, twenty or more years.

Mark B
Mark B
17 days ago

I think the politician in this case, to be fair, is merely trying to establish that the country has properly equiped the RN and are fixing any issues. The person in question has a loud mouth and is quite direct which is handy on certain occasions. If the message from the backbenches is fix the kit and quickly it might just focus minds and help the RN with the funding..

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago

Where’s Geoff Hume when you need him

James Fennell
James Fennell
17 days ago

I think there were some crossed wires – Francois was speaking about the problem in Singapore (which was not an engine problem) and Gardner throught he was referring to the problem in the Med.

Last edited 17 days ago by James Fennell
Mac
Mac
17 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Maybe the Vice Admiral didn’t want to dig a bigger hole for himself and the T45 with Francois, by admitting that Diamond had 2 show stopping defects!

Joe16
Joe16
17 days ago

Pretty aggressive line of questioning from the MP there, not sure it was entirely warranted although glad someone has teeth. I do hope he used similar language when cross examining about the Ajax procurement!

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
16 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Certainly mesmerising in his rudeness, but I ended up thinking that there was a place for it on the Select Committee – with Elwood to draw the line in time. There were a couple who’d gained access to the committee who could have turned up with a little bit more of the googled basics under their belt, though both were the epitome of politeness at least.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
16 days ago

Apparently another factor in the length of the repair was the annoying virus that came out with the repair team from the UK!
That meant that people who should have been working, fixing the defect, went into isolation for 10 – 14 days

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Ah that would delay things. So gas turbine problem in the med. 1 replaced I think is what’s being said. So the other problem later on was?
Stuff breaks, it happens. It’s what u do when that happens that matters more.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
16 days ago

What is it the song says “every time you point a finger there are 3 more pointing back at you” The problem with the T45’s has been documented since before the 1st (Duncan) was commissioned and yet our poilitical elite along with the nodding donkeys in the MoD insisted that the RN accept into service these faulty vessels. It is only luck that these vessels have not been engaged in a maritime engagement but the RFA must have a good supply of body bags on board to take off the poor soles from the hulk of what was a top… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
16 days ago

Sorry I should have said HMS Daring not Duncan

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
15 days ago

The configuration of power supplies, weapon systems, ships services etc in an action state (state 1) is completely different from the regular steaming around the briney condition (state 3) At action the ship and the crew is configured so that the loss of systems can be managed and that the ship can fight on. Normal steaming has machinery spaces unmanned and controlled from the SCC/MCR. At action the same happens with the addition of people in the spaces ready to take systems into manual to operate by hand. So if there is an issue or damage at action you could… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
14 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I fully understand “action stations” and the extra stations the crew have to man and maintain. But if the vessel has a catastrophic power loss just when you need maximum power for the censors and weapons as well as speed for manoeuvrability you affectively become a floating hulk with very little in the way of self defence let alone area defence for a CSG (which is what the T45s are supposed to be doing) The T45’s on paper are a fantast asset for the RN but they have a draw back like and elephant’s foreskin which is the power pack… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
13 days ago

The well publisiised issues where all at normal cruising watches not at higher states of readiness.
With everything configured for state one they don’t have the issue.
That said the well publisiised issue hasn’t happened for a long time anyway due to other fixes being implemented even before the PIP change.
TLFs are not a unique T45 issue. T23 sheds non essential power at times to ensure prop and weapons keep going. LPDs do the same

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
12 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I was lost for words, are you really trying to tell me that the T23’s and the 2 LPDs have to limp back to port unable to operate every time there is a problem with their engines. The T45s have been a problem child due to their power pack this has been documented long before they ever entered the water. The nature of the power production in the T45s means that if there is a problem with one of the turbines then that trips both turbines out and the 2 diesel… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
11 days ago

T23, T45 and LPDs don’t Limp anywhere if they have a PLF or TLF. For a T23 it normally sails around with 2 DGs in different spaces running and one on standby. Lose one DG due to a fault and the system ditches shedables whilst the standby comes online to take the load as the DG with the defect drops off. However… If you lose 2DGs you have issues and will need to run GTs for propulsion and leave the other DGs for power only For a good few years the T45 has had issues, But for the past 4-5… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
11 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

So there is nothing wrong with the T45s !!

Airborne
Airborne
8 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

And again GB shoots and scores and the responder, er, no longer responds in a sensible manner.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
16 days ago

Embarrassing of course. But I did reflect that RN can practically call in anywhere to get fixed, which has positive ramifications. When we’re reduced to transmitting with a tug, we’ll need to be very alarmed.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
16 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

or even transitting

Graham Lee
Graham Lee
16 days ago

I watched the Committee hearing on youtube. All I heard was capability gap after capability gap, lack of funding and mismanagement. Fitted for but not with, seven more years to fully fix the Type 45 propulsion, likely no interim SSM, pie in the sky timing on replacing Type 23’s and on and on.
The Committee was right, the next five years look increasingly dangerous, and if you look through the smoke and mirrors the RN is ready to fight, but isn’t ready to win.

Lord Gudgeon of Trent.
Lord Gudgeon of Trent.
15 days ago

Wasn’t the decision to go with RR system essentially one made by a politician to safeguard UK Jobs?