It’s no secret that HMS Dauntless has endured the most issues relating to the widely reported propulsion issues currently found in the Type 45 Destroyers. While a remedy is being worked on and the vessel will eventually return to operations, this will not be for a few years yet.
A parliamentary written question has confirmed what many have feared, that the vessel will not be leaving Portsmouth for some time.
Asked by Douglas Chapman (MP for Dunfermline and West Fife)
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether HMS Dauntless is being used as a harbour training and accommodation ship.”
Answered by Philip Dunne (Minister of State for Defence Procurement)
“The introduction of Engineering Training Ships is an important component of the Royal Navy’s comprehensive programme to improve training and career development opportunities by increasing training capacity.
Ships in the operating cycle immediately ahead of refit will be used to deliver training alongside home Bases and Ports. HMS DAUNTLESS entered this profile in February this year. A reduced Ship’s Company reside on board as normal, augmented by trainees who use the opportunity to gain experience through development activities in a realistic environment.”
HMS Dauntless is the second ship of the Type 45 or Daring-class air-defence destroyers built for the Royal Navy. The Type 45 destroyers are primarily designed for anti-air warfare with the capability to defend against sophisticated targets such as fighter aircraft, drones as well as highly manoeuvrable sea skimming anti-ship missiles travelling at supersonic speeds. The Royal Navy describes the destroyers’ mission as being “to shield the Fleet from air attack”.
One of the most controversial of her, until recently, frequent deploys was in January 2012, when it was announced that Dauntless would deploy to the South Atlantic to replace HMS Montrose which was stationed around the Falkland Islands. The deployment was condemned by the government of Argentina, which claimed that the UK was “militarising the South Atlantic”, despite the replacement representing only a modest increase in fighting capacity.
In 2015, Dauntless re-sailed for the Middle East after a short delay, with a plan to take part in the centenary of the Gallipoli Campaign. She conducted anti-piracy patrols, as well as escorting US Navy aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson.
While a remedy is being worked on and the vessel will eventually return to operations, this will not be for a few years yet.