Type 45 Destroyers Power Improvement Project is a top priority for the British Navy


According to a report published by the UK’s House of Commons Defence Committee on December 14, 2021, the Type 45 Destroyers Power Improvement Project (PIP) is a top priority for the Royal British Navy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Type 45 air-defence destroyer HMS Diamond (D34) of British Royal Navy. (Picture source Wikimedia Brian Burnell)


The Type 45, also known as the D or Daring class, is a class of six guided missile destroyers built for the British Royal Navy in the early 21st century. The class is primarily designed for anti-aircraft and anti-missile warfare and is built around the PAAMS (Sea Viper) air-defence system utilising the SAMPSON AESA and the S1850M long-range radars.

In March 2018, it was announced that the British Ministry of Defence has appointed an alliance team led by BAE Systems to deliver its Type 45 Power Improvement Project (PIP). The project will improve resilience in the Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyer power and propulsion system by replacing the existing two diesel generators, fitting an additional diesel generator and modifying the high voltage system on each ship.

Citing the British Defence Committee report, availability is lowest for some of the UK’s most capable and important vessels, the Type 45 destroyers. At one point in July 2021 only one of six Type 45 destroyers was not undergoing maintenance: three vessels were undergoing planned deep maintenance or refit programs; one was in planned maintenance; and one was “experiencing technical issues” (in layman’s English, it broke down).

The Power Improvement Project (PIP) is a particular challenge for the availability of these ships and may already be behind schedule, based on the time taken to complete the first vessel.

Updates on the progress of the PIP suggest this timeline may already be slipping. Both BAE and the Minister had stated in the summer that all six Type 45 ships will have undergone the PIP upgrade by the mid-2020s, subject to the availability of ships to undertake the upgrade and the Royal Navy’s standing and future operational commitments. However, giving oral evidence in November, Vice Admiral Gardner updated this to report that the PIP would be completed by 2028.

Currently, the British Navy has six Type 45 destroyers including the Daring, Dauntless, Diamond, Dragon, Defender and Duncan, and according to open sources information, only three ships are currently in service.

Citing the British Defence Committee report, HMS Dauntless entered the PIP in early May 2020, a date the Navy Lookout website claims was already three months behind schedule. In August, BAE Systems has announced that HMS
Dauntless was expected to complete the initial phase of the installation work “by the end of summer 2021”. In September, the British Minister said HMS Dauntless is expected to complete the initial phase by Q3 2021.

In November, the British Minister for Defence Procurement said Dauntless had “just finished PIP” but was still “working up to do sea trials”. Despite this Vice Admiral Gardner told us the British Navy was aiming to increase the availability of the Type 45s to four out of six by 2024 although not all of the four would have completed the PIP by this point.


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