Earlier fears that HMS Dauntless would spend the rest of her career tied up alongside have now been calmed, but only because HMS Daring has taken her place as harbour training ship.

It should be noted that the vessel has returned home from a lengthy deployment and likely would not go to sea again for sometime regardless of her usage in this role.

It is understood that HMS Daring, the first Type 45 Destroyer constructed, is currently in number 3 Basin in Portsmouth where she’s expected to remain for two years as a harbour training ship.

The vessel she replaced, HMS Dauntless, will enter refit and subsequently rejoin the active fleet. Information regarding the refit of HMS Dauntless came to light via a response to a question asked by Lord West of Spithead in the House of Lords:

“To ask Her Majesty’s Government when the refits of HMS Dauntless and HMS Lancaster will commence.”

The answer came from Earl Howe:

“On current plans, the refit for HMS LANCASTER will commence in mid 2017 and the refit for HMS DAUNTLESS is scheduled for the end of 2017.”

A very detailed fleet status diagram from SaveTheRoyalNavy.org showing the status of every Royal Navy escort vessel can be found in this in-depth article at the site.

HMS Daring has had a busy couple of years, In 2016 Daring deployed to the Persian Gulf to assist in Operation Inherent Resolve, the campaign against Islamic State. In 2017, after being relieved East of Suez by HMS Monmouth, Daring transited The Bosphorus for exercises in the Black Sea with the Romanian Navy. She is now in Portsmouth for routine maintenance before taking on the harbour training ship role.


  1. I just cannot believe how bad the situation is. Just 6 escorts available and 2 of those need to be with QE. I just cannot fathom how the MOD believe this is enough and why they think headlines like this do not adversely affect recruitment and retention. We have OPVs and survey vessels filling in for escorts while assets like Daring and Lancaster just sit around. Absolute joke.

  2. We spend £1bn on a warship then use her as a harbour training ship, we must best a very rich nation to be able to afford this either that for a very stupid one.

  3. Plenty of people want to still join however age limits need looked at I’m 42 and still willing and able I was ex army don’t see why I can join up I’m still fit and in my prime maybe the age limit need addressed

    • Booby, my son is in the army his unit is currently 50% undermanned, the unit is equipped with armoured vehicles that over 40 years old and the quality of the recruits coming through now is generally poor. Something is very wrong with our recruitment and retention process.

      We need a radical overhaul of the salary and allowances to military personnel to recruit and retain.

      It seems the brightest and best of our youth would not even consider joining the military as a career choice.

      • Having seen how the army disgarded our brave, loyal fighting men post Iraq/ Afghanistan why would ANYONE volunteer for these treacherous pen pushers and bean counters.

    • The ladders are a killer! Hence I walked when I got to 51. They would have let me stay till 60 but you dont want to be doing Fire Exercises at that age!

  4. Reading the savethenavy.org document we have only 6 ships available or on operations, 6 on trials, training or under going short term maintenance work, 4 in major refit and 3 non operational.

    I knew it was bad, but is a national scandal.

    Rule Britannia?

  5. A long running farce of westend standards. This needs addressed and quickly the D class (for disaster) shows tge state of the fleet. So called state of the art ships are emphasis on STATE.

    Its not manning its ships not worth ££ spent or up to the job.

  6. I took redundancy in ’96, because they invented “Lean manning”.
    Endless 9 month deployments, no shore posting, leave canceled, constant watchkeeping with no day work rotation. Glad I left, as a Tiff I very quickly became a Class 1(as was) Chief Engineer in the Merchant (less than two years) earning three times as much and never being away more than three months.

  7. All the above is certainly true but the problem is compounded by the deployment pattern. Escorts are sent off to train with the Romanians, to the Indian Ocean and to every last exercise. Times have changed. Now there is an aircraft carrier to defend. Existing escorts should increasingly be focused on escorting HMS Queen Elizabeth.

  8. Perhaps some of the hawks on here will stop laughing at the Russians now? What a criminal waste of money on weapons of war.

    • Genuine question, why do you read a defence website and post on it? You obviously do not agree with spending on defence so I am a little baffled why you would waste your time.

      • Because the money spent on defence could be halved and the remainder spent on effective coastal vessels, a well equipped home defence force with no expeditionary role and a supporting air arm. Instead, we witness the need to impress the world with post imperial capabilities so stretched as to be impotent which end up impressing no one. I call for a coastal defence fleet etc. These things are achievable at half the cost.

        • OK got it. What sort of ships are you suggesting? Corvettes / light frigates or smaller? How would you suggest they are armed and do you see the RAF needing anti-ship missiles to counter the lack of high-end surface ships?

          I take it you see no need for strike capabilities of any sort to aide in fighting ISIS or the next lot that need attention? To do what you are suggesting would take a major change in foreign policy and the general view of the world from our Govt and armed forces. The Falklands, Diego Garcia, Cyprus bases, maybe even Gibraltar would all go for instance.

          Might happen eventually but cannot see it in my lifetime (aged 40).

  9. The government need to wake up and fast. It is only a matter of time until we need a powerfull naval response and we will not be able to mount one.
    For gods sake Fallon and May get building ships and quickly. We need one type 26 built every year, the order needs to go back up to 13 ships. Then we need at least 8 ideally 10 type 31s.
    In the meantime armed forces salaries like those of key public sector workers have been wallowing below inflation since 2008. Most public sector workers are 14%-18% worse off now than they were in 2008.
    immediate steps to resolve this issue. Increase RN manpower by the 3-5000 wanted before SDSR 2015 the navy only got 300 extra personnel.
    Retain river class type 1 ships for patrol duties around UK especially needed with Brexit around the corner. Put back into service Albion and Bulwark.
    Retain the 3 youngest Trafalgar class SSNs and keep them in service until a batch 2 astute is available. This will mean refitting them, but 7 astutes is not enough subs!
    The 3 youngest Trafalgar class are fine ships easily a match for most Russian and all of the Chinese available subs. The Russian navy still operate large numbers of Akula class subs that are comparable.
    Retain HMS Ocean until 2023, she has just had a £65 million refit for just that purpose. We need a 3rd flat top, Ocean is unique as a light helicopter carrier in that she is a cheap unit able to be put into harms way during an amphibious landing. Unlike the £3 billion WE class that cannot be put at risk.
    Find funding immediately for the type 45s to have their propulsion problems fixed and whilst at it put mk41 vl strike cells onto the type 45. Of all our armed forces I am utterly scared and worried about the negligent state of the Royal navy.

    • You can increase the manpower requirement as much as like but if you cannot recruit and retain the quality personnel required then it’s a meaningless number.

      There are ways around the pay cap, such as retention and performance payments plus increased allowances.

    • I – like so many on this site – fully agree with you Mr. Bell but it truly saddens me to say it simply isn’t going to happen in my opinion. In fact, I am more worried of the reverse. What HMG has already signed up for in 2015SDSR isn’t fully funded (surprise!) and with 2Bn year in ‘efficiency savings’ required from the MoD by the Treasury, it never will. Rumours are already circulating that the Army could be cut to a mere 62k – absolute madness – but the idea is being kicked around. More cuts not more money I fear will be the realty; Fallon and Baldwin will find some way to spin it but cuts are cuts.

    • Increase manpower?
      If people don’t want to join and the PVR rate is higher than the recruiting and training level it makes no difference.
      Pay 2000 was a disaster as was Engineering Branch Development hence the shortage of Engineers.
      The new pension is pants so there goes that incentive to stay in.

      Kids today don’t want to commit to a 22 year contract. They will and do walk after 5 years.
      Engineers get better pay and conditions outside ( Yes I do!) so why stay in?
      Add to that the 90s recruiting black hole that is working its way through the manpower now you are on a hiding to nothing.

      Throwing money at engineers to stay for 5 years worked a little but they all know the math…is five years of which you will spent 3 years deployed worth the extra 3 K a year???
      No its not.

      There are no easy or quick fixes.

      • I was in exactly the situation that you are describing. Did my 5 years on extremely undermanned 45s for terrible money as an engineer, then used my experience to get a job paying twice as much with none of the sacrifices. You would have to be stupid not too!

      • I remember back in 05 during phase 2 they came to our adaws class looking for volunteers to switch over to cacs because they had a 22 going out to sea in a few months with only 30/40% of the OM’s needed, if it was bad then I can only imagine what it’s like now, after all the redundancies and ships sold

  10. The latest example of weasel words from UKdefencejournal.org

    “It should be noted that the vessel has returned home from a lengthy deployment and likely would not go to sea again for sometime regardless of her usage in this role.”

  11. Recruitment and retention:
    put up pay! If as a nation we cannot afford to pay key public sector frontline personnel such as armed forces, police, firemen, ambulance men, nurses (basically all those in a uniform) then why did HMG cut corporation tax by 2%. Why do we give away £13 billion a year on foreign aid?
    Put up income tax by 2-3p in every pound and share that out 0.5p in the pound extra for defence, education, social care, nhs.
    Invest in the armed forces housing and basing in the UK (not abroad) so that they are not living in squalid sub standard housing. If that means adding £10 billion to the uk debt then so be it. All the basing in the UK should be modern and upto equivalent standards for private sector.
    I said about bases abroad because the bases we built in Germany during the cold war were wasted taxpayers money. Required at the time but the only people benefiting from frontline hardened RAF and Army bases now are the bloody Germans who have taken them over. Yes free of charge.
    RAF Laarbruch and Bruggen two perfect examples of multi billion pound bases just gifted to Germany. Then wait for it… we will be asked for a Brexit bill, having just spent 60 years defending Europe for the ungrateful Europeans. This issue really saddens me as nationally we have given so much to Europe in terms of lives lost fighting to free Europe, commitment, resources, money. All talk of a Brexit bill makes me think we should have just left the ungrateful Europeans under the yoke of the Nazi dictatorship. Both my grandads who fought on the frontline for the British Army in WW2 would be turning in their graves if they knew what the European union has become.
    Back to defence now the answer is investment and commitment from HMG to improve pay but more importantly conditions of service.

  12. So we are now down to 5 Destroyers ,and who know when that will be cut. The original requirement was for 12 Type 45 , which was then cut to 8 , and then 6 the Government citing that Type was more effective than they thought, What utterly spurious rubbish is quoted by Governments .
    The so called ever increasing defence spend so often quoted by Fallon is fallacious. We will soon be as effective as the Swiss Navy. Its criminal how the Defence of this Nation is being eroded.

  13. Jules
    the type 45 cost a billion each because all the investment in the weapons and sensors for the type 45 programme- so Sampson radar and aster 15/30 missiles “sea viper” were all lumped onto 6 destroyers instead of the 12 planned and forecast.
    if we had got 12 hulls instead of 6 the cost per hull would have been a very impressive £500 million each- cheaper than a FREMM frigate and about 1/3 the price of an Arleigh Burke destroyer which the type 45 are arguably better at air defence ship than


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