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.

 

71 COMMENTS

  1. The MOD ordering six instead of 12 of these may have turned out to be better in the long run. This sort of thing is by no means unprecedented, but with capability cut to the bone there’s nothing to take up the slack…

    • The Navy wanted the carriers, so 12 T-45s was out of the question. It was a choice the Navy made, “This is your future budget, slice it up as you will”. We were never getting 2 QE`s and 12 T-45s.

      • the type 22’s were good for at least another 9 years service the majority should have been kept, refitted with equipment from the t 45 design. we could/should buy back the 2 t22’s still in active service in brazil an the two from romania

  2. A few years…..?! Doesn’t anyone else find it rather worrying that 1/6th of the Type 45 fleet is effectively on long time sick leave?

    I knew there had been problems but not that it would take anywhere not that long to resolve them or be so serious as to confine it to port.

  3. This is bad news, the fleet is already over stretched and now we are down one more and it’s a very high profile one to. This shows how poor a state the navy is in when we don’t even in peace time have the ability to replace a ship on the front line.

      • I would further that by asking if the navy would have the personnel to man Dauntless?! The Rolls-Royce kit on board is being removed for spares for the other five & is largely newly overhauled (scheduled). Maybe everyone should do some more research into facts before pointing fingers immediately to industry for once?

    • BAE were the prime contractor. Ultimate responsibility should rest with them. From their own website:

      “BAE Systems is the design authority and prime contractor for the Type 45 Destroyer programme. Under this agreement, we are responsible for the design, development, integration and delivery of six destroyers that will provide the backbone of the UK Royal Navy”

      Maybe you should do your own research.

      • BAES suggested the LM-2500…..it was MOD which wanted the WR-21…..”made in UK” stamp on it although the WR-21 was an Anglo American design.

    • Rob is right . Graham is wrong.. The prime contractor assumes all obligations of managing its supply chain. But another question goes down to what requirements were specked and taken to PDR/CD-R. I’m not close to the issue so don’t know the detail

    • I know. I work for a prime contractor for the MOD, and I know if one of our sub-contractors screw up, its laid on our table for us to sort out. We may then go to the subcontractor and beat them up for it, but ultimately the prime contractor is paid the money to take the risk on.

      • Bae recommended that the MoD NOT use the Rolls engine. The MoD overruled Bae and therefore assumed all risk tied to that decision. This is all made clear in the MoD’s reply to a parliamentary question asking why Bae & Rolls are not on the hook for repair money.

        • That is not exactly what happened, BAe put forward two design solutions:

          Option 1: 4 x GE LM2500 plus four diesel generators

          Option 2: 2 x RR WR21 plus four diesel generators

          BAe said both solutions were viable but Option 2 had higher risk. The decision for what propulsion layout was with the MOD and the Defence Secretary.

          The decision to go for Option 2 was made by then Defence Secretary Michael Fallon. Considering that his constituency had the RR Derby factory in it and they were making noises about pulling out of the Marine Turbine business he decided to go for the higher risk option on an industry and jobs basis.

          Two of the diesels were then cut as a cost saving measure, on paper 2 x WR21 gave significant fuel efficiency meaning 2 x small diesels were only required for harbour services.

          It should be pointed out that the RR WR21 was a product of a US Navy project, there is nothing inherently wrong with the RB211 derived turbine side. The issue is with the Westinghouse (later Northrop Grumman) developed ICR system.

          The US eventually got cold feat (as did the French who were also partnered in the project) leaving RR and the Royal picking up the pieces. The WR21 was originally intended to be a revolutionary new propulsion system that would offer Diesel like fuel economy in a Gas Turbine package. The plan was to use it heavily in civilian and military vessels.

          It is wrong to say BAe recommended the MOD not use this solution, they gave the MOD options and it was in the end a political decision.

          It is not all a loss, the refit of extra diesels should cure the issue. Also without the funding for WR21 RR would probably never developed the MT30 which is rapidly turning into a world beater and the choice power plant for new combat vessels.

    • It isn’t BAE Systems fault for this. The engines were government furnished equipment. The MoD chose the engines as they were supposed to be used by the Americans as well as us for new ships. However the USN pulled out and left us as the only ones using this engine.

    • Both contractors built to spec which was ordered by the MOD. So its not the contractors fault; its the MOD. Again!

      • Yes, but it was a risky though clever design ( NG, DCN and RR) which was unproven but the turbine bit manufactured in the UK. RR are now making a compact MT-30 but way out of the T-45s league as a refit option.

  4. The officials really are a cunning bunch – fabricating stories to make it ‘appear’ as though the navy is absolutely useless… genius!

  5. i am all for new technology even in warfare but when we only have 6 destroyers instead of the original 12 we were supposed to have then sometimes the old tried and tested method is best….as for the government well what do you expect when they would rather spend billions of pounds of taxpayers money in foreign aid and sorting out other countries before our country and the people in it….like shutting the door after the horse has bolted….they are all as much use as a handbrake on a canoe…

  6. Whats the warranty on these things? I mean if I bought a brand new spanking car and it turned out the engine didn’t work when it got a little warm, I’d take it back. Not put it in the garage for a few years while the manufacturer worked out a solution at my expense right? Or don’t you have warranties when it’s just billions of taxpayer pounds going to your mates?

    There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships these days.

  7. Throwaway “could be some years” is frightening. There are only six in the class and no sign of Type 26. Where pray do the Government expect to find escorts for the two new carriers? Forget the EU Referendum when are we to face up to the seriousness of our naval deficiencies. Those Russian football hooligans will be wearing uniform and doing it for real soon if we don’t wake up. I grew up in the Cold War when fear of nuclear weapons was tangible but I feel more insecure now than I ever did in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

  8. I dare say something will have to be done and I fear that the MoD and RN will have to bite the bullet and start producing the Type 31 sooner than planned and build more of them. I’m getting the feeling that the RN of the 21st Century will be categorised by smaller and cheaper ships with their initial capability inferior to those of their predecessors..

    • There are spots on the hull plating designed to be cut open to aid replacement but the GTs are not going to be replaced. I think they are just adding an extra diesel generator.

  9. Assuming that we could use it at relatively short notice and that is not being gutted for parts and that enough sailors are around, this isn’t a huge issue.

    There are no real threats currently, that would require a destroyer, and the QE class won’t be around for another couple of years.

    Realistically destroyers are not really needed in peacetime. For sure it is better to use them, but we can survive.

  10. Yes we will pay.

    Policiticans and the MOD are masters at being Teflon to any problem. In the end the tax payer pays as does the navy

    The only really surprsingly thing is these are not brand new ships and yet there still isn’t a solution ready.

    They have to get this under control before the carriers are launched or we will look very stupid worldwide with carriers with a part air arm and no escorts.

  11. We can send survey ships etc to cover the lack of holes during peacetime, but ships like hms enterprise can’t escort the carriers realstically and the French are having the same issues with hulls and so we can’t rely on them all the time. We have a real risk of digging ourselves into a hole with the escort requirements with the carriers and the lack of actual ships.

  12. Outrageous. The design team and the MoD should be held jointly responsible but going forward surely this should be treated as an emergency repair? The whole small fleet of T45’s is in reality hobbled. I live in South Africa and we have a really incompetent government but I sometimes wonder about “First World” Britain.
    It really is unbelievable.

    • OOh please nooooo! if you think GTs are expensive wait until you see the price for a compact naval reactor 🙂 Interestingly reactors are surprisingly small you could fit a core in the back of a small van but it wouldn’t be good for the suspension I hear.

    • Really look at the problems the astute are having … we have to have American engineers to sort them out … we do the have the knowhow anymore and have fallen behind could tries like China india France… the whole structure needs to be adjusted

      • i don’t think we’ve even got a structure, but if q.e and p.ow are to operate for 50 years, then all ships should

  13. Its tragic! Millions of pounds were spent in designing and implementing the world class weapons systems that are fitted to these vessels. Now to be rendered as good as useless due to Wait for it! Propulsion problems!. Why in gods name did they go for a unproven and obviously stupid system? Why not put half a dozen good diesels on them with, say a HV system driving high speed Azimuth thrusters! at least the ferking things will get out of pompey harbour! Why dont we just build 30 basic hulls in the water with a decent gun, a decent sonar, and a chopper. Let them take the strain and go chasing pirates and Argies and keep the fancy stuff for when its needed. A modern Leander if you like, cheap, chearfull but effective!
    What has happened to the RN?
    I despair!

  14. People said it was okay to have only 6 instead of the original 12, as they could do the work of several older Destroyers.

    How did that turn out?

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