'˜Destroyers' engine woes will be fixed for carrier's first mission'
ENGINE woes plaguing the Royal Navy's Â£6bn destroyer fleet will be fixed before Britain's new aircraft carrier comes into service, a top naval officer has said.
Commodore Andrew Betton is confident problems with the propulsion system of the Type 45 fleet will be history by the time HMS Queen Elizabeth takes on her first mission in 2021.
The £1bn-a-piece air defence destroyers will form a ‘critical part’ of the nation’s new carrier strike battlegroup.
Made up of frigates, destroyers, submarines and a host of aircraft, the group will operate alongside the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.
Cdre Betton – who is in charge of the carrier strike team – said there is no need to worry about the abilities of the destroyers, which have previously broken down while on deployment.
Earlier this month, HMS Diamond was forced to cut her deployment in the Gulf short following issues with her engine.
Cdre Betton said: ‘The carrier strike capability is a critical part of our future navy.
‘Type 45 offers us a world-beating capability. The propulsion challenges we are facing with them are understood. Plans are in place to rectify them.
‘I am confident these issues will be fixed before the carrier’s first deployment.’
The Type 45s are touted by the navy as one of the world’s most advanced warships.
But problems have blighted the fleet of six vessels, which are all based in Portsmouth.
Issues stem from the vessels’ advanced design, which uses two Rolls-Royce engines and two diesel generators.
The tech sees the ships’ shafts and the rest of its systems powered by the same gas turbines but it has struggled with blackouts.
Issues with overheating in the hotter climates of the Gulf have created power issues.
A multi-million pound refit programme has already been agreed by the Ministry of Defence to rectify the problem.
As previously reported, defence minister Harriet Baldwin said the refit plan was expected to begin in 2018.