Royal Navy destroyers to get new engines after breakdowns


The Royal Navy's most modern warships are to be fitted with new engines because they keep breaking down.

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that the six Type 45 destroyers are to undergo major refits amid concerns over their reliability.

The work will be staggered over a period of years so some ships remain available for operational commitments at all times.

"The Type 45 destroyers are hugely capable ships and have consistently made a difference to our safety and security," a Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesman said.

"In our defence review last year we committed to improving the Type 45's power and propulsion system through a series of machinery upgrades during planned maintenance, which will ensure increased availability and resilience over the life of the ships."

The move follows reports of persistent problems with the engines and power systems on the ships which cost £1 billion each.

In 2014 HMS Dauntless had to abandon a training exercise and in 2009 HMS Daring lost power in the Atlantic on her first voyage to the US.

The BBC reported that it had seen an email by a Royal Navy officer who wrote that "total electric failures are common".

The MoD has not disclosed the cost of the work but it is thought that it could run to tens of millions of pounds.

The Type 45 Destroyers are "part of the backbone of the Royal Navy", according to a description on the Ministry of Defence website.

They are used in "hunting pirates, drug runners or submarines, defending the fleet from air attack, and providing humanitarian aid after natural disasters", it said.