Royal Navy’s ENTIRE fleet of their most advanced £1billion warships are docked in port
Warships HMS Daring, HMS Dauntless, HMS Diamond, HMS Defender, HMS Dragon and HMS Duncan are all sitting idle in Portsmouth
By Jake Polden For Mailonline
Published: 18:42 GMT, 30 July 2016
Updated: 01:12 GMT, 31 July 2016
So who’s guarding the oceans? Royal Navy’s ENTIRE fleet of their most advanced £1billion warships are docked in port together for first time in years
Six Type 45 destroyers are docked in Portsmouth Harbour for reasons including giving crews time off over summer
£1bn vessels have either just returned from operation, about to be deployed or having maintenance done, MoD said
MoD added scenario was ‘unusual but not unprecedented’ and ships could be docked for ‘a few weeks to a month’
Spokesman insisted it was not connected to the need for ships to be refitted with new engines following problems
The entire fleet of the Royal Navy’s most powerful warships are all docked at the same port together for the first time in years – and they could be there for a whole month.
The six Type 45 destroyers are docked in Portsmouth Harbour for reasons that include giving crews time with their families over the summer and to allow the ships to be used for training purposes.
The Ministry of Defence confirmed the £1 billion vessels, designed for air defence, have either just returned from operation, are about to be deployed or are having maintenance done.
The six Type 45 destroyers are docked in Portsmouth Harbour for reasons including giving crews time with their families over the summer
A picture shows the warships: HMS Daring, HMS Dauntless, HMS Diamond, HMS Defender, HMS Dragon and HMS Duncan sitting idle in the harbour in Hampshire, on the south coast of England.
Tom Sharpe, from the Directorate of Defence Communications, said the scenario was ‘unusual but not unprecedented’, adding that the ships could be docked for ‘anything from a few weeks to a month’.
A MoD spokeswoman added that the ships are rarely in port together and that it only happens ‘every few years’.
The destroyers have recently experienced mechanical problems in the Persian Gulf with engines breaking down due to the water being too warm.
Contractors claimed the Ministry of Defence did not tell them the 8,000-ton vessels would be spending a long time in warm waters and as a result, the warships have an engine which keeps cutting out in the middle of the sea, leaving servicemen stranded for hours in total darkness.
Earlier this month, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones told the House of Commons Defence Committee the innovative gas turbine engines driving destroyers ‘degraded catastrophically’ in very warm seas.
The Ministry of Defence will have to pick up the full bill for the multimillion-pound refit.
Mr Sharpe insisted that the warships being docked at Portsmouth was not connected to the need for all six ships to be refitted with new engines, however.
The MoD spokesman said: ‘It happens most Christmases. To have them docked for a sustained period over the summer is unusual but not unprecedented.
The MoD said the scenario was ‘unusual but not unprecedented’ and the ships could be docked for ‘anything from a few weeks to a month’
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Defence said that the ships are rarely in port together and that it only happens ‘every few years’
‘They (the crew) have got to take leave and we’ve got manpower issues which are much publicised. It’s got to be planned in advance.
‘They spend so much time away and it’s about harmony time – getting the work life balance right.
‘You could argue if you are trying to rebalance harmony time, it does not look good but in reality it combines everyone getting away at the right time of year.
‘It’s just a coincidence, nothing to do with the engines.’
He added no other parts of the fleet were being left without protection by the destroyers and that US warships were carrying out that role for those on operation in the Gulf.
It comes after pictures emerged showing damage to Britain’s newest and most advanced £1.1billion nuclear-powered submarine – HMS Ambush – after it crashed into a merchant ship during a training exercise off the coast of Gibraltar.
Described as part of the backbone of the Royal Navy, Type 45 destroyers are the most powerful ships ever built for use by the British Armed Forces.
The first of the six, HMS Daring, was commissioned in July 2009 and was followed by sister ships Dauntless, Diamond, Dragon and Defender.
The final, HMS Duncan, was commissioned in 2013.
The ships have recently experienced mechanical problems in the Persian Gulf with engines breaking down due to water being too warm
The Mod insisted that the warships being docked was not connected to the need for all six ships to be refitted with new engines.
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