The UK defense ministry has awarded a £160 million (approx. $226.5m) contract to a BAE Systems-led team to resolve the power and propulsion system issues experienced by Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers.
The Power Improvement Project (PIP) will improve the resilience of the Type 45 class by installing additional power generation sources in each ship, the announcement read.
Delivered as a major conversion project, the PIP will replace the two existing generators with three larger units capable of delivering the ships propulsion.
PIP is expected to resolve the problems caused by gas turbines which, once they stopped providing enough power to the engines, caused the ship’s generators to fallout leaving the ships drifting in the waters with no power at all. The problems were particularly prominent in warmer waters as intercooler units on the gas turbines underwent design changes which, subsequently, were not fully tested. The systems worked well in North Sea waters but did not perform well in warmer waters of the Persian Gulf.
Under the PIP contract, BAE Systems, in collaboration with BMT Defence services and Cammell Laird, will carry out physical conversion work at Cammell Laird’s ship yard in Birkenhead, Merseyside.
The PIP contract covers the design and integration of the technical solution, supply of equipment and physical installation into all six Type 45 destroyers.
The contract forms part of Project Napier which was established in 2014 and builds on the work carried out in the first strand of the project, known as the Equipment Improvement Plan which addresses the reliability of existing equipment.
“The PIP will ensure the fleet of highly sophisticated Type 45s can continue to be deployed successfully on operations around the globe, protecting the UK’s interests worldwide,” director Ships Support at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support organisation, Neal Lawson said.
The first of class conversion is expected to complete in 2021, with follow on ships completed during the early 2020s. The program is dependent on the availability of ships to undertake the conversion, depending on the Royal Navy’s standing and future operational commitments.