HMS Dauntless was temporarily reduced to harbour training ship in 2016.

It’s no secret that HMS Dauntless had endured the most issues relating to the widely reported propulsion issues currently found in the Type 45 Destroyers. Those issues appear to be behind the vessel.

Kevan Jones Labour, Member of Parliament for North Durham, asked in a written question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the timeframe is for HMS Dauntless to return to active duty.”

James Heappey, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence Procurement, responded:

“HMS DAUNTLESS will be the first of the Type 45 Destroyers to receive power and propulsion upgrades this spring and will return to sea for trials in 2021. Following completion of these sea trials she will return to the Fleet.”

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 high speeds.

The Royal Navy describes the destroyers mission as being “to shield the Fleet from air attack”.

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HMS Monarch

Good to have her back hopefully, especially with the need to protect British shipping if Iran kicks off


So now I’m confused…..was the reason dauntless was used as a harbour training ship because it was to much of a risk to use it for anything else until it was refitted (in which case why are BAE not paying a massive penalty) or was it because of poor strategic planning around manpower ( in which case the government for the last ten years needs to held to More accoun than they have been).

John Clark

Re the design issues, apparently the potential overheating problems in high ambient temperature were flagged up, but the Labour government of the day insisted on the specific engineering used.

That said, it was also a very convenient way of managing serious manpower gaps….

Steve R

Sadly, the only time governments are ever truly held to account is election time. Seeing as we’ve only just had one, Boris’ government have 5 years before they’re held to account for anything, and defence isn’t high on the average voters’ priorities.


Perhaps not for voters, but the joy of having just had an election is that the government is relatively free to focus on genuine priorities instead of appealing to voters.

So far, Boris and his ministers are making positive sounds for defence and the need to have a capable, independent force. The review seems to be focusing on better procurement and maximising existing assets.

andy reeves

until something like the Falklands happens and everyone is saying where’s the navy?

andy reeves

THE GOVERNMENTS PAST AND Present HAVE not been bought to account will they. one of the reasons that they have ‘got away’ with years of neglect.and not just in the armed forces

andy reeves

the not enough manpower excuse is wearing too thin i think of the many hundreds that fail to get into the army, should be offered the chance of the R.N with family citizenship as an incentive. preplanning their deployments to the fleet and to which ship would enable far better manpower control and planning.


Probably both, but certainly the latter at least. HMG has made “positive” noises about defence for decades but done SFA while the forces reached historical lows. It drags its feet to simply replace expired kit.The incompetance of the recent generation of Politicians & MOD/Treasury has been abysmal in a world with severe & rising threats. The T26 FFG program is creeping on at a pace even snails would be ashamed of(10 years to build a frigate!) while the T23s become ancient & near obsolescent. We’ve yet to see anything to substantiate HMGs claims of an expanding fleet. It’s all spin,… Read more »


Could this be an ideal opportunity to retro-fit the additional 16 cell VLS always assuming they will eventually be “fitted for”

David Nicholls

An interesting “cheap” option would be to install 24 Sea Ceptor mushrooms in that space, then the 48 silos could be dedicated to Aster 30s only?


If work already planned get all work done at same time. We cant keep pulling these ships out for work as we dont have enough. If its out for another year get everything done so she is back on permanent basis.


Most updates and upgrades (A&A = Alterations and additions) are planned in during fleet time. The planning is done so that you don’t wait until a 5 year refit point for an update to equipment. OK it may take 2 X 4 week maint periods over a 12 month period to get the new capability but that is a lot better than waiting 5 years for it.


It would be but it will never happen. Unfortunately I don’t foresee the 45s ever getting the MK41 VLS.

Meirion X

Better to rearrange the hanger area, to install a rear silo of vls cells!


Why is that better? You’re talking about making structural alterations that the ships were never designed for and would negatively affect flight ops, instead of using the preallocated space ahead of the existing VLS.

I’m with David, a cheap soft launch fit of 24 Sea Ceptor for point defence is the right move. Cost effective, practical, requires no heavy and expensive modifications, and let’s the crew keep their forward gym space (probably. The SC takes up a little over 3m as opposed to over 7 for a Mk41, so there should still be plenty of headspace)


CAMM is a good idea, I agree.

How about ExLS stand-alone, 12 cell version (2 units of 6-cell version, which is more compact than 2 units of 8-cell Mk.41) to carry 48 CAMM within? This will enable T45 to carry 48 Aster30 (shall better be NT), and 48 CAMM.

ExLS is already adopted by Brazilian and Canadian Navy. Being compact, I think it has a great merit on handling CAMM.

Nil by ear.

So did they stress the power/engine issues in some way?

Nigel Collins

What I find incredible is, why has it taken until now to install the new propulsion system and the additional VLS when it could have been fitted out and tested prior to the other T45s well before 2021?

Is it any wonder why we find ourselves in such a mess with p… poor planning like this? not to mention the 1.3 Billion wasted by the MOD (5xType31) on repairs to our submarine fleet.

That’s five years wasted and we still won’t know if this fix solves the problem until she goes to sea!


On the T45 issues. I think the repair issue is NOT 5 years delayed. It took time for MOD to accept the existence of design failure, and even more to identify the responsibility (which was primarily on HMG, as I understand). Bad. But, by tuning the operation parameter, the issue is largely mitigated now; it remains, but its occurrence has been significantly reduced. On the delay, I think the primary cause of why it is so slow is, – man-power shortage (no need to repair escorts, if there is no crew), and – reduced operational cost (sea-going days of active… Read more »

Meirion X

Funding for the new engines, only became available in 2018. Not sure have all the new engines been produced yet?

Robert Blay

The RN does an extremely good job of providing warships to the frontline, way better then most other Navy’s. But refit schedules take careful planning, and we don’t have the manning for all 19 escorts. Unless there is a considerable up scaling in RN manning numbers, we would almost be better off dropping to 17 escorts and being able to overman them, giving personal more flexibility, and rotate crews, and hopefully helping the retention rates.


Yeah Robert, and I get your point, but we should be able to realistically man (oh & women) 19 escorts. In fact, with the lower crew requirements of these modern warships, we should be fielding (wrong word – floating) 22+ escorts and crewing them. Anything else is a bit of a failure. Now I understand we don’t have conscription and nearly full employment so numbers are hard to come by. Perhaps if the MOD offered a better pay structure this could improve. The RN might also like to support the Sea Cadets, ending their charitable status, and actually supporting their… Read more »

Robert blay

Hi Rob. I like the idea about the cadets. I’m not sure what the long term fix is to keep people in the Navy longer then 5 years. I think the pay overall is pretty good. I was earning around 32k as a leading hand back in 2012. Most get promoted within 4/5 years on joining depending on branch requirements. I think the culture within the forces needs dragging into the 21st century, people want to be treated like professional adults, not the junior rate culture of treated like a kid until you are a’ grown up’ as a senior… Read more »


Robert, honestly I don’t know about RN pay, my bit was with the Army then Cadets. I think 8 T31’s is now the minimum requirement. I really agree with the forces actually treating the other ranks like proper people. Not boasting – honest – I joined with A levels & then got a degree in service, if you want to keep the right people pay them, treat them and look after them. In the end it costs the MOD more to recruit and train a newbie. My experience of the RN was always brilliant, oh apart from the RM who… Read more »

Robert blay

?? that sound like typical ‘Royal’ happy days. I think the gov needs to start taking the long term view with the Armed Forces, and the NHS, and start asking how we can keep all this sustainable, funding, capability, procurement, manning requirements, and the need to keep our own national defence industry; without being ripped off, and when it is acceptable to buy off the shelf from our allies. Cheers Rob.


Hi Robert,

You’re basically asking politicians to take a none party political, pragmatic, needs based approach to the Armed Forces and NHS. Whilst I entirely agree with you I think the chances of our politicians actually doing that are somewhere between zero and vanishingly small – sadly. I look forward to being surprised but please excuse me if I don’t hold me breath 🙂

Robert blay

Hi ChariotRider. Unfortunately, I have to completely agree with you, common sense does not seem to prevail when it comes to Defence or the NHS.


You don’t just need the crew numbers for the ship. You also need the crew numbers shore side getting trained to relieve the people at sea. The sea /shore ratio needs to be maintained or, as has happened already everyone gets hacked off with being constantly away and slaps their notice in to leave ( ME!!!) and gets a civvy job working regular hours for twice/thrice the pay and none of the hassle. One off payments (retention bonus) have helped a little but if you do the math as a senior rate engineer or as a junior rate chef (yes… Read more »


Could we not enlarge our crew base by recruiting members from the commonwealth


I think the UK Armed Forces already do so Ian-particularly from Pacific Islands and South Africa where Black Economic Empowerment laws have severely curtailed job opportunities for young white males. I have several friends whose sons have served/are serving in British forces.


The RN already does recruit from the commonwealth. TheRN lose at rugby because the Army has the Fiji lads but the RN cricket team wins because has loads of players from the Windies!! Seriously though there are lots of commonwealth recruits in the RN but they are limited to Logistics and Marine engineering jobs. On the vessels I regularly work on they are about as diverse as you can get. Windies, Aussies, South African, Kenyan, Pacific Nations,, all are represented. The issue is OPS Room work and Weapon Engineering mean you have access to 5 Eyes data so that means… Read more »


Perhaps Cummings can start with T45 balls up?


I hope Cummings looks at the situation with honest open eyes rather than just go looking for the headlines or following his own predetermined uninformed views… It’s not just defence where outsiders have breezed in and breezed out after stirring the pot, only to be long gone when the true results of their pot stirring emerge. The railways is a good exmple – leaves on the line! That came about because some idiot senior director appointed from outside the industry to stir things up (and this is going back 30 years so my memory may not be entirely accurate) decided… Read more »


What I would like to know is how much money BAE & Rolls Royce are being fined for delivering a ship that doesn’t work? There is absolutely no way the MOD should be paying for this ‘fix.’

It seems this question never gets answered however many times asked?


The engine problem is not the fault of BAE or Rolls,the decision to use the particular that engine was a political one as the alternative was the American one which was favoured by BAE.A lot of the problems with costs can be attributed to political interventions,the Carriers being a classic.

Guy forth

Bae in contract oh has to deliver 80% of what is in their contract and they still get paid the full amount as if they had done 100% of the work. Also most of the people that write the contracts for the navy quit soon after, and go to work for that company they contracted the navy to.

Barry Larking

This is woeful. Who is going to be sacked? The main task at the MoD is protecting one’s right to an automatic gong, perks and big pension.

We should have access to the facts and figures. Get someone in who will shout ‘Clear your desk!’ very loudly and tell B.A.E. (and the rest) this is what we want this is the price we are prepared to match it or go away.

Barry Larking

Accountability Harold.

Robert blay

BAE built the vessels to the specifications given to them by the MOD, simple as that. And it is worth noting that the other 5 T45’s have been performing perfectly in operations across the globe without issue.

Barry Larking

Thank you Robert. I had noticed the press commentary was somewhat over done on these issues. However, the Dauntless seems to beg the question. How comes she will be sitting there for what> – Another 12 months? More?


That’s not quite true. Daring was almost as badly effected by the engine issues as Dauntless, and she’s been tied up in Portsmouth for years as well.

The other 4 have maintained a relatively good availability rate as far as I’m aware, although both Duncan and Diamond have suffered breakdowns in the past few years. I don’t remember any issues from Defender or Dragon

Ryan Brewis

Not sure how else to ask this, but would it not be better, for lack of a better word, to replace the forward 24 Sea Ceptor cells on the Type 26 with a dozen ExLS, keep the 24 (hell, even 32) Mk 41 and slap 32 Sylver at the back for Aster 30? Gives 72 cells which is respectable, 48 short-medium range air defence missiles, 32 medium-long range missiles and 32 whatever, be it TLAM, VL-A or LRASM/AShM of choice? That gives a solid ASW frigate with a hefty AAW load, build them for the next two decades and Bob’s… Read more »


The Type 26 doesn’t have a good enough radar to support longer range missiles,no uplink capability either only the CAAM data link.If there was money to add AAW capability I would direct it to adding CAAM to the carriers first rather than other ships that already have a decent load out.

andy reeves


andy reeves

i’d pay to watch the utter panic in Westminster, the M.O.D AND THE Admiralty, if her majesty was to say it was time she held a review of the fleet.


Yup, the country would get a shock when they saw how few ships we do have but if I remember rightly the MoD said after the last Review that it would be the last one ever!

Pretty clever when you think about it, saves the politicians explaining why we have such a small navy!


Interested to know what the two radomes house either side of the main mast. On some of the older ships it could have been 670?


So, can we now man 6x T45 simultaneously, will one of the others be reduced to Harbour Queen, or are we kicking the can down the road by assuming one of the 6 is always having the engine swap-out for a few years ?