HMS Daring has had to undergo emergency repairs after suffering a mechanical breakdown, the Portsmouth News has revealed.
The Type 45 Destroyer went alongside in Bahrain last month for work on a faulty starboard shaft bearing. The Royal Navy seems to have wanted to keep the news quiet, and has only confirmed that Daring went into port, and not what for. A source has informed the News that a propellor drive shaft is out of alignment. Even worse, it has been ever since the ship was delivered, and the Navy knew about it. Hardly the stuff of ‘worlds most advanced warship’, as Daring has routinely been called.
Now, my knowledge of navigation is limited to the odd trip out fishing in the Solent, but if you can’t steer your destroyer properly, how do you expect to fight with it? If it steers 30 degrees to port, do you have to steer 30 degrees to starboard to compensate? Not only that, but it will place unnecessary wear and strain on other components such as bearings.
The sad thing is, after all the clamouring for British-built defence equipment, this is no kind of advert for BAe Systems. Although teething problems do happen with any project – and particularly with a first of class – surely getting the prop shaft aligned properly should be pretty basic? I can’t imagine it’s a simply thing to rectify, and will probably only be able to be fixed when Daring goes in to dry-dock for her first major refit.
I wonder what kind of warranty or claw-back is involved in the contract that the MOD signed with BAe for the Type 45’s?
The Royal Navy’s two newest warships are set to take part in the Royal Navy’s annual showcase this summer, alongside historic ships such as HMS Victory and HMS Warrior.
The first two Type 45 Destroyers, HMS Daring and HMS Dauntless, will be open to visitors during Navy Days 2010 in Portsmouth Dockyard, between Friday 30 July and Sunday 1 August. As well as Royal Navy ships a number of vessels from foreign navies are also expected to visit Portsmouth for the event. Other ships on display will include two Type 23 Frigates. A rare visitor will be RFA Argus, a helicopter training and casualty recieving ship. She is one of the only ships in the world to have a CT scanner fitted among her medical facilities. She served in the Falklands war as a civilian ship, before being taken into RFA service.
Captain Paul Lemkes, Deputy Naval Base Commander, said: “Navy Days is a fantastic opportunity for the Royal Navy to be able to show the public, close up, the capabilities it contributes to UK Defence. I am particularly delighted that we are planning to have two Type 45 destroyers on show in their home port so that visitors will be able to see how the Royal Navy is maintaining its place at the forefront of maritime operations with this cutting edge class of warship. I am sure that RFA Argus will be a big hit with visitors too. She is a one-off ship with a very special capability and does not often get the chance to have the public on board.”
As well as ships many other displays are planned. The Royal Navys Black Cats helicopter team, the Royal Signals White Helmets motorcyle display team, the Royal Artillery Black Knights parachute team, the Royal Navy Dive Team and a Field Gun competition are just some of the displays already confirmed, with more expected.
Events such as this are absolutely crucial to the Royal Navy. Now more than ever it is important for the armed forces to work hard to let the general public know what they do. Especially the Royal Navy, who might expect severe cuts in the upcoming Defence Review. While operation commitments are important, it is also important for the Navy to pull out all the stops to put on a first-class show. The RAF, ever publicity savvy, would not miss a chance to showcase itself. It would be really good to see a bigger ‘headline’ act. Fingers crossed!