What’s worse: 2 ferries delayed or 6 destroyers no bl**dy use as Russia threatens?

(Steve Parsons/PA)
 (PA Wire)

As the Scottish MSM continue to feast on the delayed Calmac ferry story, reader Alex Montrose suggests:

An article comparing to ferry debacle to the destroyer debacle? 2 ferries in Port Glasgow running late and over budget set against 6 destroyers tied up in Portsmouth awaiting new propulsion systems.

and shares this from the Portsmouth Times:

ALL six of the Royal Navy’s state-of-the-art Type 45 destroyers are currently docked in port, at a time of heightened tensions with Russia.


stewartb then fills in the detail:

The Ferguson ferries situation and comparing this to MoD/Royal Navy fleet management:

Source: House of Commons Defence Committee (7 December, 2021) “We’re going to need a bigger Navy (https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/8205/documents/85026/default/)

Para 128. ‘The low availability of the UK’s Type 45 destroyers and recognised issues in their propulsion systems are a major cause for concern. The destroyers cannot do their job or effectively deter adversaries if only half, and sometimes only one, of the six ships is available for operations at any time.

‘The PIP(Power Improvement Project) that is intended to improve this situation is scheduled for completion in 2028 but there are indications that TIMELINES MAY BE SLIPPING. We find it EXTRAORDINARY that the Navy is prepared to WAIT SEVEN YEARS TO FULLY REPAIR THESE £1 BILLION DESTROYERS, which are arguably the most powerful units in the surface fleet after the aircraft carriers.’ (my emphasis)

Para 127. ‘Reporting (by the MoD) of (warship) availability must improve to AVOID CONCEALING ISSUES with the availability of specific classes of vessel.’

And as someone earlier noted, it seems matters have become even worse, with all six of the RN’s destroyers currently not in service.

Source: Evening Standard (7 February 2022) ‘All six Royal Navy destroyers in port for engine repairs amid heightened tensions with Russia – The Defence Select Committee warned in December 2021 that availability of the ships was a ‘major cause for concern’

‘All six of the Royal Navy’s state-of-the-art Type 45 destroyers are currently docked in port, at a time of heightened tensions with Russia.’


17 thoughts on “What’s worse: 2 ferries delayed or 6 destroyers no bl**dy use as Russia threatens?

    1. That was quick, thanks Prof John, good to have you back in action.

      It’s the double standards that see the media here lay the ferry debacle at the door of the Government in Scotland, whilst the media there do not lay the destroyer debacle at the door of the Government in England that pisses me off.

      Liked by 5 people

  1. Since these were built on the Clyde that gives the unionist media an attack line: “Why oh why do we let stupid Jocks build ships?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Type 45 was built in Scotland, but I can’t yet find where the intercoolers were built.
      Read this: “The Ministry of Defence have confirmed that all Type 45 Destroyers will have received upgrades to their power systems by the mid-2020s.
      In 2016 it was revealed that due to a design flaw on the Northrop Grumman intercooler attached to the ships Rolls-Royce WR-21 gas turbines, power availability was diminished considerably.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What about the Ajax armoured fighting vehicle?, you know, when it comes to wasting money on defence, the ministry of defence are surely the world champions, (well we have to be good at something). Alas, it’s not in the least funny, it’s our taxes that they waste.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Great example Ian. Mention of the Ajax procurement reminds me of what I posted btl on Wee Ginger Dug on March 11, 2022 when commenting on a new National Audit Office evaluation. For context, this is a £5.522 billion procurement contract – yes, billions not millions! I hope TuS will indulge me in reproducing this.

      Source: https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/The-Ajax-programme.pdf

      ‘Initiated in 2011: ‘Ajax represents the biggest single order for a UK armoured vehicle in more than 20 years. The Department has a £5.522 billion firm-priced contract with General Dynamics Land Systems UK (GDLS-UK) for the design, manufacture and initial in-service support of 589 vehicles’.

      This NAO report is the latest in a series highly critical of MoD procurement. Here are some notable extracts from its Ajax report. Just imagine the media coverage in Scotland of comparable findings from an Audit Scotland report even on matters involving an order of magnitude lower cost!

      1) ‘In 2014, the Department extended its expected in-service date by three years when it set an initial operating capability (IOC) of July 2020. The programme subsequently missed a revised target date of June 2021. ………….. These ISSUES REMAIN UNRESOLVED, and the Department has not yet set a new target date for IOC.’ (my emphasis)

      2) ‘The Department DOES NOT KNOW WHEN Ajax will be operational and has already extended its expected in-service date by more than four years.’

      3) ‘The Department will not set a new target date for IOC until it has agreed with GDLS-UK on how to resolve the noise and vibration issues. It has not yet changed the target for full operating capability (FOC) – April 2025 – even though IT HAS NO CONFIDENCE that this is achievable …’

      4) ‘The Department and GDLS-UK DID NOT UNDERSTAND the scale of work or technical challenge, resulting in insufficient contingency in the programme schedule.


      On Value for Money, the NAO concludes: ‘… the in-service date has already increased by four years and the Department DOES NOT KNOW WHEN it will be able to start using the vehicles. The programme continues to face significant problems and there is not yet agreement on the causes of critical safety issues or how these will be resolved.

      ‘There are other technical issues which still need to be addressed and wider problems in developing the enabling capabilities that will allow Ajax to achieve full capability. These problems mean that the Department HAS NOT DEMONSTRATED VALUE FOR MONEY on the £3.167 BILLION IT HAS SPENT SO FAR through this contract.’

      ‘The Department’s and GDLS-UK’s approach was FLAWED FROM THE START as they DID NOT FULLY UNDERSTAND the scale or complexity of the programme. A series of programme management failures have since led to missed programme milestones and unresolved safety and technical issues. The two parties remain in dispute over unresolved contractual, safety and technical issues.’

      ‘The Department faces a significant challenge and difficult decisions if it is to deliver the programme, with a risk that THE PROBLEMS MIGHT PROVE INSURMOUNTABLE.’

      And finally the NAO states: ‘We have seen similar problems on other defence programmes, and the Department must ensure that it learns lessons to prevent a reoccurrence of failings across its £238 billion equipment programme.’

      BBC coverage of this? Corporate media coverage of this? Opposition politicians outrage at this? Of course tax payers in Scotland have effectively zero agency over what the MoD procures and how it conducts its activities.’

      But ‘ferries’ and the Scottish Government? Now that’s orders of magnitude so very much worse isn’t it?

      Liked by 4 people

  3. Do you think Sweden and Finland know about this given they have just signed up for Johnston/Britain to come to their aid if attacked by Russia? I bet Putin knows

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I think most of Scotland’s media still cannot accept what happened in 2007 let alone May the 5th.

    You wonder how their decline in circulation / viewers figures are discussed internally month after month.

    “What, down again since last month?”. “I know, lets present the same pish again and use the word “revealed” in the headline, that should do it”.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. maybe someone with a bit more savvy than me could do a financial comparison of the two tales of shipping woe, and their costs to Scotland.

    the ferries, cost £350+ mill
    the destroyers cost £6bill, before any extensive redesign and repair.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was taking the piss slightly in an earlier posting on this thread, when I sad that by adding the word “revealed” into a headline, the media could continue to churn out the same old story as though it was something something new.

    Then we have the Herald’s headline today 13-05-22, on a Premium article. “South Lanarkshire College: Auditor General hints at need for police probe”.

    Now doubt this non story will come back in a few days with the word “hints” replaced with “seriously considers”.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. jings, this happened 6 years ago, and the fleet of destroyers are still awaiting repair/upgrade.

    The Type 45 destroyers the Royal Navy currently operates experienced a number of breakdowns related to intercooler units on the ships’ gas turbines. As a consequence of a late design change that was insufficiently tested the destroyers were deemed unfit for operation in warmer waters.


    Liked by 2 people

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