HMS Diamond has aborted her deployment to the Gulf and is returning home The Times has reported today.

The Times reported that problems with a propeller could not be fixed at sea despite the efforts of sailors on board.

A Royal Navy spokesman said:

“We can confirm HMS Diamond has experienced technical issues but we do not discuss the detailed materiel state of our operational ships and are unable to comment further.”

Rolls-Royce has been working on a modification for the engines to improve their reliability and is now preparing to take it to sea on a Type 45 for real-world testing.

A spokesman for the company said, discussing the other engineering issues that have impacted the class:

“We’re continuing to work with the MoD, the Royal Navy and our industry partners in supporting the Type 45 fleet in service.

Part of that work has been to carry out a design modification and in recent months we have successfully completed 500 hours of arduous accelerated testing on this at our test facility in Bristol.

The sea trial will test the robustness of the modification in service across a full range of operational and environmental conditions. If the sea trial is successful then we expect the modification to be rolled out across the fleet.”

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Sounds like she might need to be dry docked, hopefully not out of commission for too long. With any luck HMS Dauntless could be reactivated unless she’s been badly cannibalised.


Edit HMS Daring is the current Harbour Training ship, or the one without enough crew to sail.


Proof of the need for numbers, capability is not the be all and end all.


The British Governments policy of Defence spending has always been:
“Pound foolish, penny shy”


No it isn’t. Type 45 is a state of the art warship where we underspecced the diesels. Let’s not get carried away. Diamond is underway and under command.

Mike Saul

And unable to fulfil its operational duties.


Well, we don’t know that for certain. Was she tasked with a ‘presence’ assignment that could have been done by a cheaper ship for example? In any case breakdowns happen and it seems there are plenty of replacments tied up alongside in port. Until and unless I hear otherwise I would consider this BAU.

Mike Saul

HMS Diamond has had to abort her Gulf deployment and return to home for repairs. The defect concerns the propellor but is not directly related to the engine issues that have been the primary cause of Type 45 destroyer woes. Unfortunately, the problem cannot be rectified by dry docking in Bahrain or Gibraltar and requires the attention of specialists in Portsmouth.

For the first since the 1980s the RN has not had a warship deployed in the region.

Alan Stillwell

Hi Paul..I think you are correct regarding ‘Underspecced’ My concern ‘who’ made decisions, and were they made aware of the risks.


Diesel electric propulsion plus fuel saving WR21 intercooled recuperating turbine plus experience in Gulf climate required the design engineers to be experts in thermodynamics, electromagnetism, Middle East climate and RN operations. It was just a leap too far. Let’s just add the extra diesel and move on. Add Aster 30 ABM and a dozen Mk 41’s and you got yourself an Arleigh Burke.


Would love to see the Mk41 VLS added but read somewhere before that the money is being used instead to fix the propulsion problems so no Mk41.


No it isn’t. Type 45 is a state of the art warship where we underspecced the diesels.

So the adage ;
“Pound foolish, penny shy ”

Daniele Mandelli

Yep. UK needs a balance of quality and quantity.

Was this ship operating alone or as a part of a wider group?

And if it was operating alone, well it shouldn’t.

Daniele Mandelli

Maybe this will be good news!


Propellors are fixed pitch so there’s not a lot to go wrong with them.

Robert Mutton

The type 45 has bolt together propellers from Rolls Royce


Imagine she was the carrier escort? The world’s only carrier without it’s own missile point defence.

Accidents happen. Breakdowns happen.

£10b fully loaded naval tragedy waiting to happen.

Sort it!


Totally agree. There will be a report afterwords saying ‘lessons have been learned’ And then nothing will be done. You’ve gotta wonder how many other naval disasters were foreseen by some but ignored by the goverment.

Ian B57

If any of our enemies sought to damage us, now is the to do it.
Our government don’t give a damm about our military, staff or general population. Just keep on looking after the rich…

Mike Saul

What a bloody disaster the T45 project has been, confidence in the UKs ability to design, build and deploy a modern warship must be low by international standards.


But has it Mike? The class was delayed by political wrangling with the French over the role, the VLS, the radar. It was the trial class for diesel electric propulsion architecture. There was no MT30 so it was WR21 or LM2500 and you have to support RR. I reckon the only real mistake was in the operating specs for the propulsion. In hindsight we should have specced more reliance on the diesels for base load. Fix the propulsion and fit a dozen Mk41s and you’ve got an Arleigh Burke. I would say Horizon is the failure and Type 45 is… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

I’m with Paul on this.

RN is too small as is widely known and understood by all.

Was the 45 supporting a carrier?

If not it shouldn’t be there.

RN needs more lower spec ships for stand g tasks.

And I don’t give a damn for complaints about that weakening our fleet.

All high end not realistic in this political climate.

So buy cheaper assets and concentrate your best ships with a CBG and a ATG.

I’m interested to read though that this issue is not related to the engine issue.

Could diligence have fixed this?


Not sure…Save the Royal Navy say dry-docking in Gib or Bahrain was not an option as specialists at Portsmouth are needed to fix the problem so maybe Diligence wouldn’t have been of help in this situation.

Ben P

Gulf deployments are the most dangerous of RN tasks. Of course it needs to be a 45 or 23. The type 45 often supports the French and US carriers in the gulf as well.


Although engine reliability is a problem with the Type 45, the small number of units makes the situation worse as a problem with one–even if it is not engine-related–has a far greater knock-on effect in that fewer units are available to fill in. Presently, 3 Type 45s are unavailable–1 is acting as harbour training ship, 1 is due to start refit and 1 about to emerge from refit, leaving just 3, so a problem with one has a much greater effect than if there were 10 or 12. The USN suffers breakdowns like all navies but is large enough so… Read more »

Mike Saul

Current state of play HMS Daring – in long-term lay-up as harbour training ship (due to manpower shortages) since returning from successful 9-month Gulf deployment in May 2017. HMS Dauntless – due to begin major refit, having been laid up since 2015. HMS Diamond – Due back in Portsmouth in early December after propellor defect put a premature end to Gulf deployment. HMS Dragon – Participated in Exercise Formidable Shield in October and assisted with HMS Queen Elizabeth sea trials in early November. Alongside in Portsmouth. HMS Duncan – Alongside in Portsmouth – operational and may sail soon. (Possible candidate… Read more »


HMS Defender-About to complete a lengthy major refit and return to the feet. After foot trials she will be returned to the fleet…:)


Curious – does anyone know what the refits mentioned involve for the Type 45s? Any capability improvements?

Daniele Mandelli

TH. For the first time, you made me smile with your third paragraph. ?
I would love to see the RN have a fleet of lower spec ships such as that, but in addition to our high end assets, not instead of.
Having a fleet all like that corvette rather limits ones options.

Ben P

Been a island nation we need a navy that can conduct global operations. It is as simple as that. A pure coastal navy does not suit our needs. The UK still has one of the most capable militaries in europe even with our troubles. Stop reading tabloid newspapers and think for yourself.


Absolutely, Ben, but it is not just the tabloids; the so-called quality broadsheets are no better, and seem determined to paint everything in the worst possible light. The Type 45s seem to be a kind of whipping boy for them, but they are very capable platforms and Royal Navy crews are second to none in their professionalism.

Lee H

Afternoon all So the T45 fleet will be home for Christmas. Standing Naval tasking however is being maintained. The RN still have presence in the Gulf and I would assume that the Task Group Commander responsible for that region would have looked at the assets at his disposal and determined that there are enough assets on station to fulfil the task. We work in a joint environment, we are not in the Gulf operating as a sovereign nation but as part of a coalition. If it was really needed out there I think it would have stayed. The fact that… Read more »


Indeed. I’d guess she’ll be steaming home at less than half speed to minimise strain on the one propellor and shaft. I’d also imagine it’s a standard exercise, one prop, even one power unit. There’ll probably be a couple of ocean-going tugs sent out though as escorts, just in case. I’d guess Gib has a couple, too lazy to look.


Probably also SOP for staying on station and maximising endurance. Why fire up 4 diesels for 4 motors when only 1 is needed? Just a guess.


Propeller my a**e. This is the power issue again………..

Evan P

She’s getting back under her own steam, how would it be a power issue?


Defence systems, radar and sonar switched off to reduce power demand, water and air temp cooling as she moves away from the Middle East. If shes getting back under her own steam, it aint a propeller, is it ?

Harry Nelson

They do have 2 shafts, lock or trail the “damaged” one?


This no longer embarrassing but down right shameful! We are an island FFS get the Navy properly supplied, staffed and funded

Bill Kenny



Shame on the politicians.

David Steeper

Trying to think of a worse possible time for this to happen. But can’t.

Daniele Mandelli

The way I see it it gives the DS some extra firepower with the treasury!


It occurs to me that if Diamond was on a critical mission supporting a carrier for isntance, a problem with propulsion would not mean she can’t carry out her air defence role. If she was key, the carrier group would just stay where it was, still well protected, until a relief arrived.

So she’s coming home to get the problem fixed, and as said, propellor problems aren’t rare. There’s no word of tugs being involved, so presmuably she’s under her own power.


Forgot to add:


2 shafts integrated electric propulsion with
2 × Converteam electric motors, 20 MW (27,000 shp) each


It is sensible to bring her home to rectify the problem if keeping her on deployment would risk serious damage. It is disappointing that the problem couldn’t be fixed at sea or in dry-dock in Gib or Bahrain, but these ships are expensive and serious damage would require serious money to rectify. Much better to cut the deployment short and prevent more damage. It could be something akin to what happened to HMS QE on her sea trials when she had a prop issue but luckily that was resolved without the need for dry-docking. Unfortunately, it seems Diamond needs specialist… Read more »


Calm down, and read some of the hundreds, thousands, of WWII accounts of how warships were able to carry on with their roles even when half destroyed or burnt out.


Could only see 4 alongside today? Unless one was hidden from view


Oh well that means the crew get christmas in the UK and I wont be working on her over the christmas period out here. That will make Mrs Gunbuster a bit happier! I can make a very good educated guess as to what the specific issue is but I wont discuss it until someone in the UK says it first. What I will say is it’s not going to be the engines. As to fixing it in the UK with specialists in Portsmouth dont make me laugh… The guys I work with work on props, shaft lines etc all the… Read more »

Harry Nelson

Be interesting to see what the snag is? I know they could fix CPP blades in situ using a habitat, is it not the case for fixed pitch??! Could be A bracket or stern gland issue?

Daniele Mandelli


1SL confirms Type 45 and T26 will be used for CBG and Deterrent.

OPV and T31 for other roles.

CBG typically of QEC, 2 T45, 2 T26, 1 FSS, 1 tanker, 1 SSN

Daniele Mandelli

Also talks of multi role platforms to provide amphibious capability over longer term.


Good speech and interesting background of the 1SL.

More of this is needed, and from Gavin Williamson, to counter the negative propaganda – and I delberately use the word propaganda – employed by we all know who in the media. These are not sensible criticisms or suggestions which some in this forum post, these are destructive articles, destructive for morale, destructive for recruitment and retention, and even for getting adequate budgets.


Well said, sir; I couldn’t agree more. Sadly, speeches like that of the 1SL get little coverage by the media, who seem to relish talking down our military every chance they get. Constructive criticism is fine, but far too often news is twisted to put the worst possible spin on a particular event. Remember last year when all 6 Type 45s were in port together for a short time? The media spin was that they were all broken down and inoperative, when that was patently not true. For some reason, the RN seems to get the brunt of this treatment,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Exactly Clive!

This is what I keep trying to emphasise here when people say how bad our armed forces are and its all a disaster.

WHO are they comparing too?

One can no longer count the UK alongside USA China Russia India, and no one has a problem with that.

Leaving those nations aside we have capabilities other nations can only look at.

Which is a darned sight better than a fleet of patrol boats.

Jack Wyatt

We can confirm it is a technical issue, we won’t discuss issues with operational warships but we can tell you it is a propeller (not the GTs)!


Type 45s are essential naval kit, not white elephants. They are the only area air defense(& potentially ABM in time) warships we have & vital for carrier/task group escort. We should’ve fitted the QEs with Aster from the start, especially with so few T45s as we see now how easily the whole class can become unavailable. The Falklands war should’ve taught us we can’t ever rely 100% on allies to make up capabilities we lack as sometimes we’re on our own. The problem is funding enough crew for those not in refit(or repair) to be at sea plus a lack… Read more »

Les T

All ships break down’ I remember spending a very pleasant three months in Singapore back in the early seventies’ station leave included, whilst the Blake had her boilers tubes replaced, then a month in Hong Kong sorting the repair out. Good old days!

Lee H

Great article on:
https://thin pinstriped

Daniele Mandelli

Yes fascinating read.



A good read and very very accurate with the information.
Regarding a permanent based vessel in the Gulf… it’s extremely doable and cost effective. The MCMV force has been doing crew swaps for many years without major issues. So its probably time to do it on a “big ship”.
The crew would fly via RAF trooping flights at little cost and any spare parts if not in theater would be shipped via the well established air head that is already in use.
Maintenance is covered using the existing facilities in Bahrain or possibly Oman.
Watch this space…


To be fair she has abandoned the Gulf deployment when she has not actually left the Med. After taking on HMS Oceans flagship role her Gulf arrival went right. following handing back to HMS OCEAN she has been in Souda doing work up stuff prior to going through the canal. So the delay in travelling down to the Gulf has meant the defect has not resulted in a Gulf port docking. Heading back to the UK now is the right move. Using a Gulf port to correct the defect was never on the cards because she has not even reached… Read more »


Gotta admit I’m not that fond of pinstripe articles. Full of info, and reasoned. But with an undertone of pessimism, and perhaps a lack of empathy. But little to put the finger on. Best I can do is repeat then 1SL Stanhope’s words in front of some Westminster committee (2014?) “We’re running hot”. He indicated the RN couldn’t do another Libya, and you can see why, the RN had been stretched for a long time, with redeployments all over the place. Well, you can do that for a few months, even a few years, same as anyone can do in… Read more »

Lee H

Hi guys Great thread above full of good reasoned arguments, however whether we are glass half full or empty the following is correct: RN will have no capital assets east of Suez for Christmas. RN will have assets deployed worldwide in support of U.K. and allied operations, where required, and if required can be re-tasked. The T45 fleet is home for Christmas CVF is home for Christmas and will begin further trials in the new year which no doubt will include sensor and weapon trials with her escorts Fortunately 6 of them will be along side so she will be… Read more »

Anthony Levett

The state of the Royal Navy is a disgrace! BWE’s and vanity projects. When is the government going to take the knife to all the senior civil servants and top brass for pitiful performance?

john jordan

Sorry to hear about the propeller/propulsion problems. Sorry that foresight doesn’t keep frontline repairs facilities in Gib. I agree that an OPV+ could lessen duty loads of the Fleet in general. Propeller trailing is much easier in a twin CPP configuration. There is a growing shortfall, of in depth knowledge, among designers of ship’s engine requirements especially in adverse weather ( heavy rolling ) and high sea water temperatures. The power requirements must be met by the available engines on board without major shedding. It’s unfortunate that every ship built , even of a class , becomes a prototype ,… Read more »


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