Royal Navy destroyer towed back to port after engine breakdown

Royal Navy’s Type 4 destroyer HMS Duncan had to be towed back to Devonport after experiencing a breakdown off Plymouth.

According to a report by the Plymouth Herald, a Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed this saying the ship had experienced “technical issues”.

The ship was towed back to port on Tuesday, just two days after it left Devonport navy base together with a number of other ships deployed to NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 1.

HMS Duncan, together with ships from the Spanish, German and Portuguese navies, was expected to sail to a European port after completing training in Plymouth.

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.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed in January 2016 the the ships are to undergo extensive multi-million pound engine refits.

This was not the case with HMS Duncan’s breakdown on Monday, however. According to a tweet by NavyLookout, an independent online campaign to promote the Royal Navy, a burst salt water pipe and not a gas turbine failure led to the ship’s engine shutdown.