Minister refuses to confirm when Royal Navy’s destroyers will be fixed

HMS Defender and HMS Diamond are among the Type 45s which have been hit by thousands of defects
HMS Defender and HMS Diamond are among the Type 45s which have been hit by thousands of defects
Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson. Pictute: LPhot Ioan Roberts

Defence secretary refuses Treasury demands for military cuts

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A DEFENCE minister has refused to say if vital repairs to fix the engines of the Royal Navy’s fleet of destroyers will continue to take place in Portsmouth.

For years, the £6bn fleet of Type 45s has faced persistent problems with its propulsion system, with a number of ships breaking down.

The government earlier this year confirmed the six Portsmouth-based warships would have an overhaul on their engines to fix the problem – work which is expected to run into the tens of millions.

So far some of the repairs to fix the issues have taken place at the Portsmouth Naval Base.

However, when Portsmouth South MP, Flick Drummond called for the government to confirm exactly when and where the bulk of the overhauls would take place, defence procurement minister, Philip Dunne could not give a straight answer.

He instead said: ‘A decision on where the work will be carried out will be taken when the technical option and delivery model have been selected.’

The minister has previously said the government was exploring a number of ‘delivery models’ with ‘several competing industrial partners’. But he added that to reveal further information could ‘prejudice commercial interests’.