NAO REPORT ON TYPE 45 DESTROYER
13 Mar 09. A report published by the National Audit Office (NAO) today on the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer programme says that while the project has suffered significant delays and escalating costs, more recently the project has progressed well, with key milestones being met.
The NAO report says that the project to deliver the new warships has been delayed by two years and that the costs have risen by some £1.5bn. It also says that Daring, the first ship of class, will enter into service without all elements of the new Sea Viper, formerly known as the Principal Anti-Air Missile System, in place.
The NAO says that the problems arose because of over-optimism about what could be achieved, inappropriate commercial arrangements and, in the early stages, poor project management, but goes on to say that the MOD has taken action to resolve these problems and in 2007 reviewed and renegotiated the ship contract with BAE Systems which subsequently merged with VT to become BVT. Since then, there have been no further cost increases or delays to the project and the project has progressed well, with key milestones, such as completion of sea trials, being met.
Tim Burr, head of the National Audit Office, said today: “The early years of the Type 45 destroyer project were beset by problems. The Ministry of Defence is currently controlling costs and timescales successfully; but it now needs to focus on installing the other equipment the ships need to obtain their full capability and on getting to grips with developing an effective support solution to be ready in time to support these destroyers.”
Defence Minister Quentin Davies, commenting on the National Audit Office report, said: “The NAO rightly acknowledges the progress made with theType 45 destroyer programme. Key milestones, such as completion of sea trials, have been met ahead of schedule. These are complex, sophisticated warships and where problems arose in the early stages MOD gripped the issue, renegotiated contracts where required and got the programme on track – the first of these impressive destroyers, Daring, sailed into Portsmouth, her future base port, in January this year.
“I have been following this programme closely since my appointment, and I am pleased to be able to say that progress with both building and sea trials is currently going very well. Four ships are in the water (Daring, Dauntless, Diamond and Dragon) while the other two vessels (Defender and Duncan) are well under construction and the powerful Sea Viper missile system has undergone two successful test firings. These ships will form one of the essential pillars of the Royal Navy in the 21st century.”
Daring was originally due to enter service in 2007. Due to project difficulties, the contract was renegotiated and a revised in-service date of November 2010 was identified. Since the revised contract was agreed, all milestones and deliverables have been achieved on time or ahead of time and an earlier in-service date of the end of 2009 is being worked towards.
The remaining five vessels will enter service progressively through to the middle of the next decade.
The Sea Viper missile system has been successfully tested twice in the South of France and all elements of the system will be in place before Daring’s first planned operational deployment.
Designed primarily to provide air defence protecting forces against enemy aircraft and missiles, the Type 45s are extremely versatile and able to
undertake a broad range of missions from combat to humanitarian assistance.
The six ships are:
1. Daring – launched in February 2006 and completed her contractor sea trials in September 2008. She was handed over to the MOD from the shipbuilder BVT on 10 December 2008 and set sail from the Govan dockyard on the Clyde on 16 January 2009 for the journey down to Portsmouth, arriving at her base in Portsmouth on 28 January 2009.
2. Dauntless – launched in Januar