Shipping & Shipbuilding News -  20 June 2008- The Brightest Maritime Daily

Govan shipyard with HMS DRAGON, photo by Robert McGechie

Six of the best but scrap the rest
No more Type 45 destroyers after current batch is completed...

The six Type 45 destroyers currently building and on order at yards on the Clyde and at Portsmouth will be the only ones built, the UK Government confirmed yesterday.

The announcement was not unexpected but is still a blow to shipyards who had hoped for a further two ships at least.

However Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth told the Commons yesterday that the seventh and eight destroyers would be dropped, saying the Government had to "prioritise between a range of competing requirements" and that the six destroyers already ordered would provide a 'formidable capacity' and the ships were more capable than originally envisaged.

Both VT and BAE Systems have said they understood the decision and that they had expected it but critics point out that having only six destroyers may mean that the Royal Navy could find itself stretched to the point it could not maintain its commitments, especially in times of refit and maintenance of vessels.

When the Type 45 programme was announced as a replacement for the Type 42 fleet, it was envisaged up to 12 ships would be ordered. This was watered down to six plus an option for two more, but it is this option that has been cancelled.

So far three Type 45s, HMS DARING, DAUNTLESS and DIAMOND have been launched on the Clyde whilst the fourth destroyer, HMS DRAGON is currently on the slips at Govan with all major sections fully joined up. HMS DEFENDER and HMS DUNCAN will follow and complete the batch.


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