HMS Duncan, a Type 45 Destroyer, has been towed back to port after ‘technical issues’.

HMS Duncan was among a group of four NATO ships that visited HM Naval Base Devonport at the weekend. The fleet left the port on Monday but remained off coast while carrying out training exercises.

According to local media, local residents spotted the Type 45 Destroyer being towed at about 11.30am this morning.

The Ministry of Defence said the ship had experienced “technical issues”.

It is understood that the issue was caused by a burst salt water pipe and not a previously publicised engine issue.

The six ships which cost the taxpayer £1bn each are among the most advanced destroyers in the world.

Recently, HMS Duncan and HMS Richmond escorted a Russian carrier group through UK waters.

The Russian Task Group, which included the sole Russian aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, the nuclear powered Kirov Class Battlecruiser, Pyotr Velikiy and two Udaloy Class Destroyers, Vice Admiral Kulakov and Severomorsk sailed from Russia on Saturday the 15th October to join Russian anti-Islamic State military operations in Syria.

While this issue isn’t as serious as some tabloids have made it out to be, it is however concerning. The issue with the engines will be resolved eventually.

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Dave B Philips

Could it get much worse for the RN? Perhaps HMS Victory cast her sails and head out…

Barry Larking

It is depressing. I cannot think that a commercial supplier would not be sued for this kind of non-compliance to provide a product ‘fit for purpose’ if that indeed is what had happened. It illustrates also I believe the run down of essential skills in ship building going back decades.


And no sign of the long awaited shipbuilding strategy.


LOL, when was the last time the UK had a coherent strategy on anything ? We just seem to stumble along day by day, then react to an unpredicted event in an inadequate and usually completely ineffective manner.


Our strategy was free markets… it only benefited the financial services who promptly sub-contracted everything to foreign suppliers whose markets are protected by custom or law.


The sea is quite cold at this time of year, so HMS Duncan’s issue may be entirely unrelated to the class’s well-known warm-water problems. Dragon had a similar issue a few months ago, which prevented her going to Cardiff for an open day after her refit. I fully agree that those warm-water problems need to be remedied as soon as possible, but I despair at the hysterical, ill-informed and doom-laden press headlines that often accompany news about the class, a prime example being a few months ago when all 6 were in port together for a short while, which implied… Read more »


“While this issue isn’t as serious as some tabloids have made it out to be, it is however concerning. The issue with the engines will be resolved eventually.” Yeah, a total loss of power is no biggie is it ? Some times i read these articles and the word that springs to mind is “Shill”.


Jumping to conclusions. The report states it broke down but not why. It might have nothing to do with the power cuts.


Probably just as well although apparently an awesome AAW destroyer their capabilities in other areas are highly limited and they lack offensive capability in any form; best not send them out alone!


Agreed Mike. I find it incredulous that our small number of attack boats aside, the RN will effectively not be able sink an enemy ship once Harpoon is retired – even when we get the carriers as the RAF has no anti-ship missile in inventory. What other country would allow this to happen??? Totally irresponsible! Any ship-borne replacement is 10yrs away. Is it me or is HMG allowing ‘Capability Gap’ after ‘Capability Gap’ across the Armed Forces to the point where it’s becoming acceptable? If I am right, then we are playing with fire!


Although we haven’t got the P-8s yet it looks as if, at least probably in the mind of the MoD, that we “got away with it” as far as the huge MPA capability gap that they created is concerned. The real danger that I see here is that the MPA saga emboldens the government to start saying “well, no British ships got sunk by submarines while we had no MPA so we can get away with pulling this sort of stunt again and again and again”. Very dangerous thinking.


Spot on Julian!


The RN may be under critical mass, but that is in part due to maritime missions being coalition based. The royal navy has some of the most advanced missile destroyers along with advanced frigates and fleet subs, not to mention the rest of the escort, and patrol vessels and of course the current trident armed attack subs, we may not be the big boys of the waves like in the past but we still have a naval force worth being proud of! With the new aircraft carriers currently being produced how is the current fleet upgrade strategy not in effect?… Read more »


Don’t laugh at Vladimir Putin’s rusty navy – it is still doing it’s job. What can not be said about HMS Duncan.


Perhaps we should have voted for Trump !!! We might have a chance of building are navy. As long as he dosnt employ BAE
Trump vowed to build the 350-ship fleet Republican defense hawks have long sought and reverse decades of fleet contraction which has yielded today’s battle force of 272 ships. And while the politics of large increases to the defense budget are dicey in the best of times, Trump sees a naval build-up as part of his agenda to create jobs, according to an October internal Trump campaign memo obtained by Navy Times.


The USN themselves say they need a minimum of 350 combat vessels to meet their current commitments….. which is why the Trump campaign latched onto that number.

It has nothing to do with Republicans.


The US also has the same problem as us. The Harpoon system has been considered obsolete for years due to the increased defensive capabilities, and from what i can see they don’t have a clear solution to this either.


Hey Steve – the US is developing the LRASM (Long Range Anti-Ship Missile) with initial operability in 2018, as their Harpoon replacement. The only thing is it is launched from the MK41 VLS which unfortunately for the RN, is not in service. The Type 26 will have MK41 but we all know it will be years before the first ship becomes operational. The Type 45 has space available for MK41 VLS to be fitted but as usual, there is no money to fund this….. time to raid the Overseas Development budget!!!


According to wikipedia the naval version won’t be ready until 2019 and even then it will take time to roll out across the fleet, resulting in a multi-year wait for the most powerful and expensive navy in the world. Also if you read the history, it wasn’t intentded to be the replacement but was rushed after the change in world climate. Whilst we shouldn’t have left it this long to find a solution, blaming the MOD is a bit too simplicitic. They have limited budget and ship to ship warfare was not considered to be a priority, which i think… Read more »


They could have at least started planning for this.

The MoD could have developed strategies and put options in front of the government. A capability gap is frankly a lack of planning in my opinion.


I agree Nathan. I think it ludicrous to think that ship-to-ship warfare wouldn’t be a priority! If that were the case, then why would the RN be only serious navy in the world to put warships to sea that could field an anti-ship missile (albeit old) but don’t due to a lack of funds and must rely on a deck gun? Every other navy would think it crazy – and they’d be right!! This is more serious in another way as it could embolden potential enemies who would view is as weak politically and militarily. Only our attack boats will… Read more »

Bruce Sellers

In this age of rolling news, so much of the media fluff being reported is factually inaccurate but, if you take the recent fluff at face value, we do not appear to have a viable stand-alone RN capability now and for the fore-see able future? Ships with little offensive capability, no ability to securely project over the horizon force, new Wildcats with no data link: it beggars belief. It’s a good job the new Wildcat is as manoeuvrable as it is, it wont be long before the only option available will be long toss LABS bombing with a homing torpedo… Read more »

Jeffrey peter

Not as bad as 9 Terre AFV seized in Hong Kong on an unscheduled pistol.


I keep reading the foreign aid comment but in my opinion people don’t understand what the aid is all about. Look at any rich person and they make a big song and dance about giving money to the poor. Typically it’s not because they give a stuff about the poor but it’s because it builds their brand among other rich people, which is why they don’t just give the money in the quiet and to real charites rather than to celeb ones where most of the money goes to hosting fancy events. Same about our foreign aid, it’s about building… Read more »


Steve – what you are reading is not that we (those who agree with me) are against Foreign Aid but the amount HMG can find every year (11bn!) at the expense of other departments – especially defence. Remember, the first priority of any government is defense of the realm. Consecutive governments – Labour and Conserative both – have raided the defence budget (e.g. Blair/Brown paying for Afghanistan out of the equipment budget such that there was no money left for the much needed helicopters) but still expect us to be a top tier military. Too much is asked of our… Read more »


Foreign aid is aed to help our economy in the long run and help poor people not starve and raiding it would only be a short term fix. The impact of povety is war and the impact of war is mass immigration away from it. Don’t get me wrong, considering what our armed forces are expected to do, they serve better gear but this isn’t the solution in m opinion.


I think the issue is that some of the aid goes to countries where it doesn’t make immediate sense, because they should be able to pay for themselves or there is governments in place that are ‘stealing’ the countries wealth. However the aim is normally designed to build brand GB or to help stablise countries. When you look at the work of say the navy, most of it is policing roles, which wouldn’t need to be done if the countries in the area were stable or the people weren’t poor. It is not a simple puzzle.


David, I suggest you learn more about the value of “soft power”. It’s an essential component of the UK’s positioning on the world stage. Sometimes money is better spent that way.