A BILLION-pound warship, which is battling back to frontline operations after being relegated to the role of a training ship, has a new captain.
Commander Tom Trent has taken charge of HMS Dauntless as the navy seeks to get the mighty Type 45 destroyer back into action.
The state-of-the-art ship has been stuck in Portsmouth amid a manpower crisis, with The News first revealing she had been designated a ‘harbour training ship’ in 2017.
Her last deployment was to the Gulf in 2015, where she supported the battle against Isis in the Middle East.
But now the navy is determined to bring her back to fighting form and will next year begin a major, multi-million pound overhaul to enhance her power generation system.
The mid-life upgrade, set to take place at Cammell Laird’s yard in Birkenhead, Liverpool, is part of a key series of works to upgrade the Daring-class of destroyers’ endurance.
Commander Trent, who previously led Dauntless’s sister ship, HMS Duncan, took over from Lieutenant Commander Chris Trevethan on Tuesday.
He is now due to travel to Liverpool this week to visit Birkenhead and meet commercial partners from Cammell Laird to discuss the upgrade plan.
Speaking of his new role with the ship, Cdr Trent said: ‘It’s a tremendously proud day for me as I wave farewell to HMS Duncan after a successful period of front-line operations and embark in Dauntless for a very different, but no less important, phase of the life of the ship and the Type 45 class.
‘We are all ready for the challenge and will relish being the first-of-class for this essential mid-life upgrade to this superb destroyer.’
Meanwhile, his old ship HMS Duncan is scheduled for her own refit following recent operations in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and Middle East.
The ship made headlines across the globe after documentary filmmakers from Channel 5, embarked on the ship during her time in the Black Sea, recorded Duncan being swarmed by Russian fighter jets off the coast of the Crimea – which Russia annexed in 2014.
The incident was aired a year ago, yesterday.