HMS Dauntless is the first ship to receive fixes designed to end the power issues that had impacted the availability of the Type 45 Destroyer fleet.

The warship was treated to a flypast from a Typhoon jet as she left the Cammell Laird yard on the 14th of June, the vessel spent 770 days at the facility.

What was the issue?

The Ministry of Defence previously confirmed that all Type 45 Destroyers will have received upgrades to their power systems by the mid-2020s. HMS Dauntless was the first.

In 2016 it was revealed that due to a design flaw on the Northrop Grumman intercooler attached to the ships Rolls-Royce WR-21 gas turbines, power availability was diminished considerably when functioning in the warm climate of the Persian Gulf; and it quickly became apparent that the class was not operating as originally envisioned with some losing power mid-deployment.

Therefore a planned refit was scheduled to fully resolve the problems with the six ships in the class.

According to the as always in-depth and comprehensive defence analyst NavyLookout here, the vessels WR-21 gas turbine itself is of a sound design, however, the intercooler unit “has a major design flaw and causes the WR-21s to fail occasionally. When this happens, the electrical load on the diesel generators can become too great and they ‘trip out’, leaving the ship with no source of power or propulsion.”

Putting the Type 45 propulsion problems in perspective

The First Sea Lord, Admiral Philip Jones, clarified in evidence to the Defence Committee that the “WR-21 gas turbines were designed in extreme hot weather conditions to what we call ‘gracefully degrade’ in their performance, until you get to the point where it goes beyond the temperature at which they would operate… we found that the resilience of the diesel generators and the WR-21 in the ship at the moment was not degrading gracefully; it was degrading catastrophically, so that is what we have had to address”.

The Ministry of Defence is funding the Type 45 Power Improvement Programme. The current contract value is approximately £189 million.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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PragmaticScot
PragmaticScot
5 days ago

Surely once trials are done get her deployed to the Mediterranean then Gulf of Aden, as a minimum, to make sure this works in real world conditions. Hopefully the first of many successful refits.

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  PragmaticScot

100% agree.
I’m sure the engineers took great care to ensure they got it right this time but no harm in checking by sprinting around in hot weather for a while. “Trust, but verify”

Angus
Angus
4 days ago
Reply to  PragmaticScot

Takes time to work up a crew to combat standards not an overnight exercise. She will deploy when she’s ready. Next year I would expect.

Shaun
Shaun
4 days ago

I am probably missing something or misunderstanding, if the problem is a design fault, why is the supplier not responsible for remedying it? I would have thought it was a breach of contract issue, supplying goods that do not comply with green specification (which is why specifications should always be out-turn specs).

Shaun
Shaun
4 days ago
Reply to  Shaun

Green = contract. No I don’t know how that happened either!

Jack
Jack
4 days ago
Reply to  Shaun

Because it is easier to stick it to the taxpayer.

Joe16
Joe16
4 days ago
Reply to  Shaun

The contractor in this case had a different solution as their preferred option, but customer selected the less mature design at risk to capitalise on domestic manufacture. It is therefore down to the customer to pay.
I am a little confused as to why they don’t just replace the problematic intercooler though, but don’t know much about gas turbines so this could be nigh-on impossible…

Jon
Jon
4 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Rolls Royce developed the prototype replacement in 2017, which was first tested in UK waters. They claimed it could be installed during a 4 week in-port maintenance stopover. As this was supposed to be part of the equipment improvement plan, I imagine most, if not all, of the N-G intercoolers are history.

Joe16
Joe16
4 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Excellent, I’ve not heard that before, but as an engineer it always rankled me that they didn’t seem to have fixed the root cause of the problem! Glad it has been dealt with.
Would this mean, therefore, that the uprated MTU generators are there in case the fix doesn’t work, or are we thinking they’re more leaning towards extra capacity for future weapons/radar fit?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

The new MTU’s also allow econo-cruising with the GT’s totally shut down.

With oil prices as they are probably a good thing!

Joe16
Joe16
4 days ago

Good point, I hadn’t even considered that!

Jon
Jon
4 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

If the progress of and the need for the elements of the Equipment Improvement Plan have ever been clearly reported, I missed it. I’ve pieced together what I found on multiple sites including foreign ones over the years (eg. the four weeks number came from the American site Defense News in 2018). Julian Lewis the former chair of the Defence Select Committee asked a written question of Quin, the Pocurement Minister, a couple of years ago, and Quin explained that it’s been known since 2011 that: there was “no single root cause underlying the low reliability” experienced in the Type… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Customer = Hoon. Another fantastic DS, not.

Jack
Jack
4 days ago

A man that truly deserved his nickname.

Joe16
Joe16
4 days ago

I can understand that MPs may not have broad knowledge of defence. But if I was put into an important role that I didn’t have the knowledge about, I’d damn sure make sure that I got up to speed quickly. It strikes me that many DS don’t do that- perhaps because they view it as a stepping stone to a more senior cabinet role, and so don’t take the time? Disappointing, either way. Mind you, I’m a sucker for a domestic-sourced product and so, on this occasion I’d be tempted to make the same choice. Without the benefit of hindsight,… Read more »

lee1
lee1
4 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Unfortunately that is a considerable weakness of our political system. We have MPs in charge who often have never even had a proper job let alone have any knowledge of what they are supposed to be in charge of. They are also often too obsessed with moving up the ladder than actually doing a good job. It would be better to have the cabinet made up of primarily professionals who know what they are doing and then have an MP who represents them in Parliament. This is of course possible under our rules but we seem to ignore the issue… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
4 days ago
Reply to  lee1

From what I remember of that time, the New Labour Government was warned the propulsion system had potential issues, but went ahead with it, as they wanted to boast that it was “greener” than previous naval engines. Low carbon virtue signaling, was more politically important than proven engines.

lee1
lee1
4 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

The problem is not with them being greener. The propulsion system design in itself is sound and being greener saves money on fuel. However the issue was with a buggered up intercooler design. That was not because it was greener that was just bad spec. I read that the company building them was never asked to make them suitable for hot seas as it was not in the spec.

John Hartley
John Hartley
4 days ago
Reply to  lee1

The Government was warned there was a risk with their propulsion choice, but went ahead anyway.

Pacman27
Pacman27
4 days ago
Reply to  lee1

Perhaps Defence is an area that needs to be managed by the cross party DSC with the SecDef heading that up.

its not as if they decide to go to war or anything and I think a cross party defence cabinet approach may be a powerful lever.

Michael Dickinson
Michael Dickinson
1 day ago
Reply to  Pacman27

What? And have the nutter party and greens and the likes of the SNP on it and making defence decisions. If that’s the way to go then May The Good Lord Watch Over Us All

Pacman27
Pacman27
23 hours ago

Not the intention. The defence select committee is already cross party and I think you will find really supportive and critical in keeping everyone honest, but they have no teeth.

There must be a better way of ensuring we have consistency of orders and funding that is better than what we have at the moment.

The SNP and other parties have a right to be represented if they are voted in by their constituents but clearly it DSC would need to be proportionate to the overall parliament.

Crabfat
Crabfat
4 days ago
Reply to  lee1

I’ve always thought Ben Wallace to be a good Defence Secretary. He’s ex-army, so understands the military; and he’s doing an excellent job of supporting the Ukraine. Unfortunately, DSecs never seem to last more than three years, and Wallace is coming up to the end of his second year.
Of course, ministers serve at the whim of the PM, who may move them in a reshuffle (one coming up??) or offer them another job they can’t refuse.
However, that’s the way of politics the world over…

Lee
Lee
4 days ago
Reply to  Crabfat

Just because it has always been that way does not make it right. The definition of madness is doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome… Ben Wallace is okay but to be honest any defence secretary from any party would do the same regarding Ukraine… Yes he is ex army and that is more qualifications than practically any other minister… However being in the army does not make you good at managing the whole armed forces and their procurement… There have definitely been worse though. You are correct about the fact that they could be moved at any… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 days ago
Reply to  Lee

To be totally fair to Ben Wallace he is trying to get a grip on the whole thing and won a big cash injection to do just that. Hence, the Stewart drumbeat of good news with T45 Ceptor & AB capability enhancements. RAF Captor funding and next tranche of F35B. There is a decent list of decent things as well as more quietly increasing depths of war munitions and critically backfilling spares so STOROB is no longer get the default option. He does make a very good point that getting better deployable availability, doesn’t mean deployed, is critical to having… Read more »

Last edited 3 days ago by Supportive Bloke
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Agree mate. As ever a sensible comment. Political ignorance over defence matters never ceases. I’d have every MP go on a once a year fortnight experience with the service of their choice, but they’re too busy playing politics, point scoring, and claiming expences.

johan
johan
3 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

If i remember correctly, there was a large study done on options, and solutions and time scales.
in the end it was down to finding a best fix to solve the problem without cutting the type 45 in 2. as its built around those engines and their location,

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 days ago
Reply to  Shaun

Unfortunately if the customer = MOD tell the supplier to do something specific it is on the MOD.

The recuperator used in T45 was not the suggested design by either RR or BAE so don’t blame them for once!

Shaun
Shaun
3 days ago

Ergo my comment re out-turn specifications.

johan
johan
3 days ago
Reply to  Shaun

Its Called a MRA4 or a AJAX for short.

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
4 days ago

Two years… 2 years to fix a broken warship! WTF is that all about??

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

Didn’t that time include a refit too or just the engine issue?

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
4 days ago

Hi… to be honest I’m not sure about the refit part, but 2 years to turn around a warship in the 21st century? Surely thats outrageous?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

I agree. If it was just a known engine issue.

Jon
Jon
4 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

As I understand it, this isn’t supposed to fix it, well not completely. There were multiple failures reported originally; the intercooler design flaw was only one of them. Then First Sea Lord Admiral Philip Jones claimed that it would have been too expensive to design the ships to work in all temperature conditions. [That staggers me!] So the gas turbine was suppose to gracefully degrade in performance in hot weather, allowing the crew to reduce the load and move to diesel power only. However, when the intercooler failed, the gas turbines failed catastrophically. This caused the load to fall completely… Read more »

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
4 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Thanks for that Jon. Hopefully lessons will be learned.

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
4 days ago
Reply to  Jon

If the Arleigh Burkes can operate in all weather environments then so should the T45s.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Different propulsion system.
An AB machinery space is like being in a T42 /T22 from 20-30 years ago…Its very very legacy. GT’s driving gearboxes to a CPP. Even the electrical generation is done via GT Alternators. The fuel consumption is horrific hence the size of the things to be able to carry a decent fuel load.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Glad you’re an engineer and explained that clearly mate!

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  Jon

“too expensive to design the ships to work in all temperature conditions.” They were £1B each in 2010!
Unreal. If that’s true, this staggers me too!
Cheers for the clear & simple explanation.

Last edited 4 days ago by Stu
John Hartley
John Hartley
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

BAE said the build cost per ship was around £450-480 million. What bumped it up to a billion, was that numbers were cut from 12 to 6, so R&D doubled per ship.

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

“BAE said” good one 😆
£520M R&D & they couldn’t find the pennies to design it to work in the same temperature range as a Volkswagen. Brilliant.

John Hartley
John Hartley
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Remember, BAE did not make the whole ship. If politicians pick items from other companies that do not work, that is not BAE’s fault.

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Never said it was. Just laughing at “BAE said” as they’re renowned for sticking to budgets, aren’t they?!
To be clear, I’m also usually against BAE bashing as often it’s not actually their fault, they’re just used as the fall guy.
I used “they” as the whole complex that made the T45. What has blown my mind is that whoever designed, chose kit etc. etc. spent as much as we did but it was “too expensive to design the ships to work in all temperature conditions.”

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Military equipment must work within a very large range of ambient temperatures, especially ships deploying globally. Something went wrong with the Tech Spec on this one.

Jon
Jon
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I sometimes think the reason admirals carry swords is so they can impale themselves to spare the blushes of their political masters.

Grizzler
Grizzler
4 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Is that a lesson…really? let’s design and agree to implement something that doesn’t work where it needs to….the mind truly boggles.

Jon
Jon
4 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

To plan to succeed rather than plan to fail, yes it’s a lesson that needs applying in multiple places in MoD procurement.

For example, DE&S plan by how much they will fail, so they can double spend money ahead of time. (It’s argued if they have a failure, they won’t have to pay the full budget.) They call it “realism”. The NAO report earlier this year said that the ten year plan has £12bn worth of planned “realism”. That’s not the amount of planned failure, it’s how much they expect to recoup from a far larger level of failure.

Last edited 4 days ago by Jon
Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

To remove the old diesels and insert an increased number of more powerful diesels and (I am guessing ) fix the turbine intercooler arrangement was the engineering equivalent of a heart transplant. I am guessing she now has a more ‘standard’ IEP set up but with WR21 instead of MT30. She will have the scars to prove it. Kudos to all the engineers involved in this project. Well done!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Its not often the engineers get thanks – as an ex-engineer, I thank you.
Was this the ship type that required major hull cutting to get the diesel engines out?

Paul.P
Paul.P
3 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes, I believe so, hence the heart transplant analogy.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
4 days ago
Reply to  Tom Keane

According to this article (see the bae graphic) more than just PIP was done.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2021/03/thales-completes-hms-dauntless-s1850m-long-range-radar-overhaul/

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago

Good spot.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Very good link: thnx.

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago

Not mine. But good article.

Last edited 4 days ago by David Steeper
Chris
Chris
4 days ago

Didn’t see it on the link but isn’t this all part of the BMD upgrade?

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
4 days ago
Reply to  Chris

I don’t think so …

Chris
Chris
4 days ago

Should have wrote leading up to the BMD upgrade, I thought the s1850 was the first stage of the overall sensor suite upgrade with Samson being (hopefully) the last part of the jigsaw. Apologies for the stupid previous comment

Jon
Jon
4 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Let me quote a member of the UK Defence Forum last year when this question came up

THALES NL told me the operations on the radar were just “refurbishment”, no upgrade [other than replacement of obsolete parts], no improvement.

Paul42
Paul42
4 days ago

At long last!!! Maybe there is a faint light at the end of the very long dark Type 45 tunnel……

Jack
Jack
4 days ago

770 days !! How many warships has China built in that time ?

RobW
RobW
4 days ago
Reply to  Jack

A lot, but they also have stacks of cash, we don’t.

John Hartley
John Hartley
4 days ago
Reply to  RobW

They do also have stacks of debt (like us).

David
David
4 days ago
Reply to  RobW

The Chinese may be able to spit ships out in no time but I read before their build quality is very poor. Still, even if true they have way more than us, so can afford to loose some – not that our Surface Fleet has anything to sink them with (which is a whole other shameful story!).

AlexS
AlexS
4 days ago
Reply to  David

The Chinese may be able to spit ships out in no time but I read before their build quality is very poor.

Well Type 45 just spent 770 days repairing bad build quality…

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

No it didn’t repair bad build quality. They spent 770 days upgrading a poorly specified and then poorly designed propulsion system. The build quality on T45 is very good . After 2017 when the intercooler/recouperator core was modded and the machiunery control system software modified then things did improve. As I have said before I worked with a T45 in the Gulf during the summer. Air temps in excess of 45 degs, sea temps in excess of 35 degs. They did not have any TLF’s due to the engine system degrading. The IEP system was working as it should have… Read more »

Sean
Sean
4 days ago
Reply to  Jack

Seriously comparing a country of $2.7tn GDP against a country of $14.7tn GDP?!?

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  Sean

I think it’s more about how long it took, not how big the Chinese Navy is. If you’d prefer to compare with Italy ($1.8tn), they laid down, built & comissioned the frigate Antonio Marceglia in 4 years, or France ($2.6tn) laid down, launched & comissioned Alsace in 5 years. We took half that time just to swap some power plants out & modify the electrics. I think Jack may have been meaning – it seems to have take a tad longer than needed to complete. His secondary point (and please correct me if I’m wrong here Jack) is that there… Read more »

Sean
Sean
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

I dare say they didn’t want to cock-up a fix to the original cock-up. Also as the first of the class to receive the fix it was always bound to take the longest, undoubtedly the fixes for the remaining Darings will take less time. The examples you give for the building of French and a Italian frigates aren’t really relevant, different job. Though I would point out both of these were not first in class, so presumably took far less time to build. Even still their construction times also aren’t impressive compared to the times for the T23s – the… Read more »

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Oh I agree – if I was running this, I’d have tested the engine set-up in everyway imaginable to make sure we didn’t mess it up (again!). BUT it still 2 years seems excessive & Jacks point was it could have been done a darn site faster. As for the remaining, they say all 6 should be done by 2028. Building frigates: Not first in class & not that quick – agreed. My point (building on what Jack said) was that you can (slowly) build an entirely new ship from scratch in 4 years, so it seems odd that it… Read more »

Sean
Sean
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Well when they started the work there wasn’t a major war in mainland Europe. 🤷🏻‍♂️
You’re assuming the engineers were available while she was tied up. Any good PM would have them busy on other work until the project started.

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  Sean

War – Fair point.
PM – The PIP was supposed to take 6 months. A good PM would’ve had a plan & executed it in less time. A good plan relies on good preparation. ‘7P’s’.

I refuse to believe they didn’t have any engineers available wile they’ve been tied up. Dauntless was alongside for 2 years & another 18 months in a refit before leaving for the Mersey.

Dern
Dern
4 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Also, he says he’d test it in every way possible, but that he’d not take 2 years… it’s one or the other really.

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Forgive me if I’m wrong but are you trying to say ‘there wasn’t time’? When it’s been a known issue since 2016… PIP Contract award was announced 21/03/2018 (2 years before work on Dauntless started). The bid – and therefore the planning for the solution – must have taken place prior to this. You’re trying to tell me we couldn’t have found time to mock up the powerplant & run it under a variety of loads in different climates – heat, cold, humidity etc. in a testing facility in this time? Please tell me I misunderstood you. You test before… Read more »

Dern
Dern
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

I’m saying you want to do something fast and thoroughly at the same time, and that’s a contradiction in terms. I’m not sure how that’s hard to grasp.

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I’m not sure how it’s hard for you to grasp; I was not asking for “fast”.
6 years since we knew of the issue is not fast.
5 years (the original schedule) wasn’t “fast”.
4 years since contract award is NOT “fast”.
3 years from contract award (the original schedule) wouldn’t have been “fast”.

Had I demanded all work was complete within 18 months of contract award, you may have had a point.

Dern
Dern
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/hms-dauntless-back-at-sea-after-two-years-with-engines-fixed/#comment-650975

I suggest you read what I said, and actually respond to my point instead of making a strawman and fighting that.

lee1
lee1
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

It is actually often easier to build from scratch than to refit some things. Engines on Ships are normally buried deep inside the superstructure and are installed during the build process. Once the ship is built. getting to those engines is a nightmare and requires parts of the ship to be cut open. Not only that but I guess there was a lot of alterations they made to the original plan as they started doing the job. I would imagine that the next ships to be done will be completed in a fraction of the time.

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  lee1

I’m aware of the complexity but even BAE said it should only take a year. They built the things. ‘Alterations to original plan’ – this is the thing I can’t get; years before contract bid we ask for solution, contract award to cutting steel was 2 years. They built them and Dauntless was alongside for any engineers to examine, check, measure. And they still take twice as long as planned for the first one. “Oooh, Covid!” But even that’s a nonsense as BAE were deemed ‘essential’. To be clear, I’m not that bothered, only got involved in the argument as… Read more »

Lee
Lee
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

I am a software engineer and I get the chance to look at systems and estimate the work involved. The solution is formulated and then when you finally get to work you find things that were not I initially apparent. You also get further requests from the customer for changes that were not asked for at first. The project can double or triple in size quite easily. In top of that all sorts of other factors can happen. Plus the engineers will have been taking their time making sure everything was as good as possible as another failure would be… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 days ago
Reply to  Lee

This

Yep 100%

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  Lee

Mate, with the greatest respect, this isn’t software. It’s hardware. It’s much more like planning to swap a graphics card – you take a look at cable runs, cooling requirements, number of power pins etc… none of this should have been a suprise to them. As for ‘further requests/changing requirements’ – for a LOT of buys, I agree it’s a real issue. This wasn’t. It was ‘fix a known issue with your known solution’. No more. No less. But I really don’t care. I only got involved with ‘time’ discussion as I thought people were being a bit harsh to… Read more »

Freddie
Freddie
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

If you’re going for that analogy, it’s more like adding a second graphics card to a system with no spare PCIe slots, and you’re not allowed to swap out the motherboard, you “just” need to work out a way of adding a PCIe slot

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

A bit like CR2 LEP aka CR3 – CR2s will not all be upgraded until 2030. I worked on this project for Rheinmetall in 2016.
Quicker to build a brand new tank!

Steve
Steve
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Simple answer is the navy and therefore in turn the government is hiding lack of cash and crews by leaving ships in maintance way longer than is strictly required. If the cash was available for sure the at sea figures for the entire navy would be returned to a level similar to historic levels.

Last edited 4 days ago by Steve
Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Interesting take. Do we have any data to support this?

Steve
Steve
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Not really, other than the time at sea figures published on this site earlier this year, which showed a year on year reduction.

DMJ
DMJ
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Unfounded conspiracy theory I suspect. As I recall the emphasis when Ben Wallace became Defence Secretary was to increase sea time. Navy Lookout did an article (1 June 2021) on sea time last year that showed this increased in 2020 over each of the 4 preceding yearsi

Jack
Jack
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Stu, you are correct. Thank you.

Dern
Dern
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

The thing to bear in mind with both of those ships is they are some of the last FREMM’s to roll off each countries production lines, so it’s to be expected that they will go from build, to entry into service faster.

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I agree.
What we also need to bear in mind is that we’re not building an entire ship; Hull, power plant, electrical system, radar, mounting gun systems, missile silos, weapons integration, sonar (passive & towed), crew quarters, latrines, showers, drinking water making facilities, refrigeration systems for food, air con, heating, navigation systems and on and on and on… and that’s before we embark the crew & work them up prior to commissioning. We’re just removing 2 diesels and fitting 3 new ones.

10% of the work to build a ship took us 50% of the time. That’s all.

Dern
Dern
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Again, missing the point: First ship to get a major (and lets face it, cutting the hull open and replacing the heart of the ship is as major as it gets) modification vs building a ship to a blueprint that has been thoroughly tested and the production line very much streamlined.

It’s not 10% of the work.

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Not missed your point at all Dern.
OK I was being silly to make my point. It’s not 10%… it’s not 50% though is it!?

The engineers that designed the PIP said the first would take a little over 12 months to allow plenty of contingency time for delays & future ones would take 6-8 months.

As above – I’m not actually that bothered, only got involved in the argument as Jacks point appeared to have been missed. Do think it’s a bit crap though.

Dern
Dern
3 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Yeah, you sound not bothered XD

It’s probably more than 50% of the work actually, because as I have said multiple times, the two Frigates you listed where build after a long line of identical frigates had been produced, while the PIP required a brand new solution with the accompanying issues that doing anything for the first time, especially something that might have to be relied on in combat, will entail.

But I said that several times already and you ignored it to strawman me so I’m sure you’ll do it again.

Stu
Stu
3 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I’m not sure you know what a ‘strawman’ is.

“more than 50%…” – the original schedule called for Dauntless to go in in May 2020 & be done by “Early 2021”. They seriously underestimated it if it’s more than 50% of a serial production frigate didn’t they!? But you know best.

Think I’m done conversing with you now. Doesn’t seem too constructive.

Dern
Dern
3 days ago
Reply to  Stu

So, now, not only are you going into a strawman of my position, but you’re going into ad hominems as well.
Yeah, you’re right, we are done conversing, because you lack the ability to say anything in good faith, or even pay the slightest bit of attention of what is being said to you.

Please do at some point take the time to read what I wrote, and actually try to understand what I’m saying, instead of arguing against some notional argument that you *think* or *want* me to be making (aka a Strawman).

Stu
Stu
3 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Ad hominems? Why? Because I suggested I wasn’t strawmanning your arguments? Ok. Happy to reset here to try and have a constructive chat. I like to understand others perspective as I’m here to learn, discuss things in good faith and frankly, I think we’re on the same side for 99% of this. Please do correct me if I’m wrong or missed your points here. You said: Frigates I mentioned at end of serial production – I agree. Makes construction quicker – I agree (although each of the FREMM seem to take about 5 years but, no matter. You are right,… Read more »

Dern
Dern
3 days ago
Reply to  Stu

“Yeah, you’re right, we are done conversing, because you lack the ability to say anything in good faith, or even pay the slightest bit of attention of what is being said to you.”

Stu
Stu
3 days ago
Reply to  Dern

👍🏼

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

“We’re just removing 2 diesels and fitting 3 new ones.”
I take it you dont work in Ship Repair?
The first 2 x GD sets are considerably bigger than the 2 coming out and need a whole raft of different services and connections.
The 3rd DG was going into a space that didn’t have a DG in it to begin with. Thats new steel, pipework, cabling, penetrations, support services, foundations …
Yes the timescale was excessive but it was the first of type to get the PIP so its understandable. The next wont take that long.

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

No I don’t work in ship repair. I’m also not a heart sugeon. But I am someone that can tell time & if a heart surgeon ultrasounds, CAT/MRI scans a patient & says surgery will take 5 hours, I’m allowed to be concerned if it then takes 12 hours… The engineers that designed the PIP said the first would take a little over 12 months to allow plenty of contingency time for delays & future ones would take 6-8 months. As above – I’m not actually that bothered, only got involved in the argument as Jacks point appeared to have… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
4 days ago
Reply to  Dern

There is no justification for this. None.
More than 2 years work. 770 days.

Dern
Dern
4 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

I literally don’t care what you think Alex.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Alex do you work in Ship Repair?
No?
Yes it was a long project but it was understandable for a first fit.
I have had ships in 3 month docking/maintenance periods drag on for 9 months due to growth work that was not included in the original specification. These where straight forward projects that had nothing like the PIP requirement.
Later ships we worked on of the same class took considerably less time in dock due to previous lessons learnt from that ship being included in subsequent specs things like where to look for class defects from day one.

Mac
Mac
4 days ago

..I wonder how many more hours at sea the T-45 fleet is going to lose getting their Sea Ceptors fitted & Sea Vipers upgraded, in yet another extended dry docking?

Now matter how much you try & gloss over it, these T-45s have proved very poor value to the RN & tax payer.

John Hartley
John Hartley
4 days ago
Reply to  Mac

Death by a thousand cuts. Numbers cut from 12 to 6. 155mm gun abandoned to save £10 million development. 127mm alternative dropped for 114mm. Proposed CEC & Tomahawk, not fitted to save cash. Even Harpoon was second hand with limited life left.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

And all under a LABOUR government! Yippee. Damned Tory cuts!!!

grizzler
grizzler
4 days ago

and still going on …how many SDR’s?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

91 OFC. Tory.
95 FLF. Tory.
97 SDSR. Labour.
2004 New Chapter. Labour.
2010 SDSR. Tory
2015 SDSR. “”
2021 ISDR. “”

As I keep highlighting, the main damage ( apart to the Army) was between 97 and 2010 and especially the 2004 NC onwards. The only reason army manpower survived the scourge of Brown Blair was Afghanistan and Iraq.

Klonkie
Klonkie
4 days ago

personally DM, I’d be happy to return to the 2004 review levels, particularly for the RAF – 16 combat squadrons (can you believe there were actually that many) – fat chance now though!

What a depressing state of affairs.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Yep, though by my memory it may have been more then mate? We had 7 GR4 squadrons, 4 at Marham 3 at Lossi way after that date and up to 2010 I recall. 3 Harrier. 1,3,4. 3 Jaguar. 6,41,54. Plus the Tornado F3 squadrons which once numbered 7, by then forget how many were left with the 1st Typhoons coming in, I thought 6 as the Tories cut one of the 3 Sqn Leeming wing, the other 4 were 2 each at Coningsby and Leuchars. And the Sea Harriers too, 800, 801, plus 899 NAS. So more than 16. It’s… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie
4 days ago

All good thx ,hope you’re also well . Good point re the Sea Harrier force. I clean forgot about that.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
4 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

What a list of should or could haves. A wee bit depressing.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 days ago
Reply to  Mac

Probably dont need to drydock. You can spiral in the SC fit over a number of FTSPs. SCOT and 997 fits where done outside of dry dock periods for a lot of vessels. The RN is driving down the need for dry docking and working to do even more work afloat. that will help with availability

Ex Clanky
Ex Clanky
4 days ago

What efforts were made to investigate and rectify the intercooler design flaw at the heart of thus problem?

Addressing the Diesel Electric generation plant capacity is great news…..but seems like treating the symptom rather than the cause.

Jon
Jon
4 days ago

Good news. NavalToday puts the planned deadline for PIP in 2028, but now some of the work has being moved to Portsmouth, do we have a revised estimate?

And has the Equipment Improvement Plan been completed for all the ships yet?

Joe16
Joe16
4 days ago

Good stuff!
Impossible to do with Dauntless part-way through PEP of course, but I wonder if there isn’t a way to dovetail the PEP with the fitting of the Sea Ceptor and other upgrades for future T45s? It may be that the areas of the ship required for the work scopes would cause interference, so may not be possible, but just a thought to streamline the process for the last few vessels.

Bob.
Bob.
4 days ago

Lets hope that the “Learned lessons” from this work translate to a more rapid refit of subsequent ships.

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  Bob.

You would hope. They say all 6 should be done by 2028.

Jon
Jon
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

I’ll stick my neck out and say, I think they will be finished much sooner. I think the parallel work in Porstmouth and Birkenhead should speed it considerably.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 days ago

There’ll be a similar focus on HMS Dauntless’ engine trials and long term performance on here as we’ve given to the Ajax saga. Wish the ship, and her sisters, ‘God’s speed’.

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago

13 years after entry into service 😮😮 I’m just relieved there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It isn’t in the same league as Ajax thankfully but surely a lesson in all this is using unproven tech in platforms. We have to accept there’ll be problems and plan accordingly. If the first of class had been deployed to extreme climactic areas as soon after commission as possible we would have been able to act earlier. Plus always always have a plan B. At least we’re there now but it should never have reached the point in the first place.

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Agreed.
As bad as it is there was such a flaw, I’m glad we have a solution & really glad this wasn’t as bad as the Freedom Class LCS & that a fix was possible (the USN want rid of them but they’re still being built).
As soon as T31 and T26 is launched, we should immediately be testing it from the coldest to the hottest climates we can to make sure the rest are going to be good & we can amend the design of the others before launch if needed.

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

Yep. I think the bigger failure was not fully testing the engines/intercooler in the high north and the gulf on the first commission.

Last edited 4 days ago by David Steeper
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

New-to-service army kit always got tested before iSD across all temperature ranges specified in the User Requirments/Tech Spec/Contract documents. I wonder why this did not happen for Navy ships.

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

You’re not alone wondering about that.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

One of the refurbed T23’s does have most of a T26’s power systems in it for precisely those reasons.

T31 is a lot simpler design from commercial bits so it is unlikely to have such issues.

What I do find strange is that RN went down the fully electric route on T45 & QEC and then went hybrid with T26 and filly gearbox on T31.

T31 gearbox is clearly on cost grounds but T26 hybrid is very strange given the increase in complexity that it brings and that QEC’s electric drive is a success.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
4 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Hi David, You are absolutely right when you say there are risks associated with new technology. It is not the first time the RN has taken huge risks with a key platform. The Queen Elizabeth class battleships were ordered by Churchill (1913 I think) before the new 15″ guns had been built, let alone tested. If they had not worked then the RN would have had 5 battleships with no guns or been faced with having a bunch of 32,000ton ships under armed with the older 13.5″ guns. It was a gamble and the navy had had big gun failures.… Read more »

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Fair point.

Minor thing – HMS Warspite had working steering UNTIL Jutland. It was during that battle she took a hit & was forced to drive in circles for a while & she took additional hits because of this. It was Jutland that caused steering issues. Even after dockyard repair, she had temperamental steering for the rest of her illustrious career.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
4 days ago
Reply to  Stu

I stand corrected. She did indeed take a battering at Jutland.

Cheers CR

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Yes and it’s only fair to say that Sampson for one has been a spectacular success. When taking a gamble pays off it pays big but it must be the job of the designers to minimise the risks and take action accordingly. Why did it take so long to find out the problems. Why has it taken so long to find and fit solutions to those problems. My biggest fear is a catastrophic failure in a class that loses the gamble. The effect on the reputation of the RN of a failure on the scale of Ajax.

Ron Stateside
Ron Stateside
4 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Lol look at the Zumwalt Class destroyers or the Littoral, “Combat”, Ship. I’ve never heard anybody saying the RN should have less Type 45s. Defender even outran Ivan’s patrol boats in the Black Sea last summer. The glass is not half empty with these boats, it is filling up. We should be placing bets on whether Dauntless can hit 35 knots.

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago
Reply to  Ron Stateside

God yes in future histories of the USN the chapters on Zumwalt and the LCS will make for excrutiating reading. There are many reasons for the USN going down the Constellation route rather than go for the Type 26 but those 2 would be very high up in the list.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
4 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Part off the problem was that they didn’t get to hot operating environment straight away which is hardly surprising as they had lots of other basic trials to undertake first. You have to remember that when you build only 6 of something that is as big and complicated as an AD destroyer you are not going to have the luxury of build half a dozen prototypes that you can test to destruction before you put the final product into production. Even if we built 60 ships the first few into service would have to play at being the test /… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
4 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Not really. 😉

Jonno
Jonno
3 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Do you think that when it became obvious of the problem, we could have run off another 3 ships with improved power plant to cover the down time. Money i suppose.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
2 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

Yeh, money, always money.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
4 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

The T45s have been in service for years, first in class from 2010. Surely we know by now if they are effective?

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
2 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, Yeh they do. As I said in my post the problem is balancing multiple needs, including the need to maintain some AD capability for the fleet which still needs to operate. There is always the issue of money as well. Also the work was obviously not included in the original through life maintenance and support schedule so they would have needed to find space in the yards to actually do the work and don’t forget the new generators are built in Germany (I believe) and they will have an order book with production slots filled as well… Complicated… Read more »

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
4 days ago

The real issue seems to me to be that there are not enough Type 45’s. This blog has covered many successful deployments of the type in the years since H.M.S. Daring was commissioned. The engine intercooler issue is magnified by the lack of Type 45’s and the utterly incomprehensible failure to build new classes of escorts until now. This has placed a tremendous amount of effort on a few hulls and crews at a time of rapidly growing international tension.

Stephen Davis
Stephen Davis
4 days ago

So has the intercooler issue been fixed or have they just (!) torn her open and chucked some extra diesel generating capacity in? I can’t work out which from the information above and below.

Stu
Stu
4 days ago
Reply to  Stephen Davis

Everything I read is that the WR-21 turbines (and intercoolers) will remain & they removed 2 diesels to be replaced by 3 more powerful diesels. Then they did some clever things with the electrics to make it all work.
Sounds like the idea is; they won’t need the WR-21 as much & if/when they fail, the whole ship won’t need to be turned off and on again…

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
4 days ago

The fact that it has taken 13+ years to ‘fix’ the intercooler issue with just one ship being given the PIP strongly suggests that there were other problems that had to be resolved. Installing three new diesel generators may well have increased the noise radiated by Dauntless, which was already excessive, unless new, quieter mountings were also fitted According to published information the T45’s can track and engage a large (unspecified) number of incoming hostile aircraft and/or missiles using their Sampson S band AESA multi-function radar. The RN needs to prove that this air defence system works under a close… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
4 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd
Sean
Sean
4 days ago

A good news story on UKDJ – cue all the complaints and gripes in the comments section 🤦🏻‍♂️

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
4 days ago

I’ve never understood why they weren’t fitted with the MT30 which was first developed in 2001 and with a first engine run in 2002. The build of Daring was 2003 and they could have delayed the build slightly to install the MT30. It would have made much better sense than the WR-21. The MT30 is the most successful marine gas turbine probably of all time now. As an aside I’m wondering whether Rolls-Royce are working on a successor to the MT30? Final question is whether the modifications to the type45 means they are even more noisy than they were before?

Paul T
Paul T
4 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

The other contender to the WR21 GT set up was the American LM2500 ,the timelines for the MT30 are similar but it may not have been an option when the Type 45’s were being designed.Also wasn’t the USP of the WR21 reduced Fuel costs and Emissions ? .

Finney
Finney
4 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

The most successful “of all time” is definitely the GE LM2500. But the MT30 is certainly setting the pace for the 21st century.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
4 days ago

should have had the CAMM upgrade fitted at the same time- seeing as she was in dock for such a long time. Still great to see her back in service and available once again.

Something Different
Something Different
4 days ago

So how was it missed from the requirements specification that a globally deployed navy may need its air defence vessels to operate in warm waters.

Robert
Robert
4 days ago

2 years and she leaves without Sea Ceptor or Mk 41 for BMD. Send her back into the yard.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
4 days ago

That’s hope this works, but is should have been done 14 years ago when the fault first came to light.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
4 days ago

Beautiful lines and I wish we had twelve. .
So now another ten years and we’ll six with Aster 30 upgraded and SeaCeptor and maybe BMDS. Kiss goodbye to TLAM and probably any anti ship GWS. A billion pound plus warship with a 4.5 to defend herself. Another strategy milestone.

RN enthusiast
RN enthusiast
4 days ago

I am an engineer but not familiar with marine engineering. But why can’t the root causes with the intercooler etc be fixed rather than employing a work around or is that too much open heart surgery to be feasible?

DC647
DC647
4 minutes ago
Reply to  RN enthusiast

Because they are poor quality not fit for purpose type 45 is a high input ship and the intercooler that was fitted was never designed for that type of use. It’s like sticking 1litre eco engine from a fiesta in a Rolls Royce on the flat you might be OK but as soon as need extra power it stalls.

geoffi
geoffi
4 days ago

And another 18 months until available operationally, no doubt…

Ron
Ron
4 days ago

Good to have her back in the fleet, it is a pity that the Ceptor upgrades could not have been done at the same time. The T45s are good ships but have been tied up along side for longer than normal, possibly this could be an advantage as it might give them a few more years of service as long as the radar suite is updated. However, this could also cause problems, the T83s are expected to start being built when the T26 batch 2 is completed but with the T45s having possibly a further 5-10 years of life there… Read more »

DC647
DC647
3 days ago

It’s strange when you deal with a American company to develop something it doesn’t work this and the ajax troop carrier. But the US goes with UK companies BAE, RR they seem to get it right. Is this the future with US-UK trade deal we get their crap and they get our quality products.

Steve
Steve
3 days ago
Reply to  DC647

Sure there has been a lot of beating the same old drum in this discussion
And while most people agree with most of the points
The main thing here is that dauntless is back
Daring is already well underway in its refit and a third ship (dragon if my memory serves me) has just started in Portsmouth
It appears that finally the navy mod and government have begun to get their act together and we should see an improvement in fleet serviceability and availability in the near future

george leitch
george leitch
1 day ago

Glad she is finally fixed but, if she can’t be trusted due to engine problems, moor her off Kent and use her as an anti-ballistic missile defender.