The Defence Select Committee warned in December 2021 that the availability of the ships was a ‘major cause for concern’.
At a time when tensions with Russia have aggravated, all six of the Royal Navy’s latest Type 45 remains docked in ports.
These guided-missile destroyers are undergoing a Power Improvement Project as they have been troubled by engine issues since their launch.
The Ministry of Defence, in an announcement made in 2018, had put forth its intentions to provide a robust solution to the power and propulsion issue observed in Type 45.
The country had been warned by the Defence Select Committee in December 2021 that the low availability of the UK’s Type 45 destroyers and their issues in the propulsion system is a major worry.
The HMS Dragon was required to serve at Portsmouth on Monday, alongside the HMS Defender, Diamond, and Duncan.
The HMS Daring and Dauntless are at the docks of Birkenhead, undergoing improvements as a part of the PIP. Though the HMS Diamond and Defender are ‘at notice to sail’, they are held back in the docks.
Tom Sharpe, a former Royal Navy Commander, expects that the situation ‘unlikely to improve anytime soon’. “This is about alliances versus redundancy”, he states. On the one hand, they have allies to rely on and aid their call on to surface-to-air coverage, which is good. But on the other hand, their fleet is stretched so thin that a major set-piece deployment would reduce the subsequent availability to zero, and that is clearly worse. Despite assurances to increase speeding and hull members, the situation isn’t likely to improve anytime soon.
The six ships would have their defects repaired by 2028, informs Vice-Admiral Sir Chris. The chairman of the Defence Select Committee, Tobias Ellwood, accepted that their inability to put any of their six Type-45 destroyers to the sea reflects how inconsequential their surface fleet has become. “Our world is becoming more dangerous not less. Operational taskings for our surface fleet are increasing not decreasing”, he adds.
The navy will be too small to defend and deal with the emerging threats, concluded the Defence Select Committee. Doubling the size of the maritime forces should be seriously taken into consideration. Elsewise, their security and access to international waters, which are critical for the economy, will be challenged.
Also, Read Japan Considering Alternatives to Suez Canal After Ever Given Incident