UK’s Type 45 destroyer wraps up engine trials as part of PIP upgrade

The Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless has finished its engine trials following an upgrade under the Power Improvement Project.

Dauntless sails through a calm Irish Sea on trials; Photo: Royal Navy

Known as PIP, the Power Improvement Project, addresses the resilience of the engines and power generation driving the many hi-tech sensors, systems and weapons on board the destroyer.

The Ships’ Company of HMS Dauntless. Photo: Royal Navy

The Type 45 destroyer has undergone extensive trials around the UK throughout the summer, laying the foundations for its five sister ships as the entire class of Portsmouth-based air defence ships undergo the same upgrade.

To make the necessary upgrades, the two original diesel engines were removed and replaced with three more reliable, more powerful, cleaner generators.

Ensuring previous issues have been addressed, a storeroom has also been converted into a high-voltage switchboard to deal with the extra power now generated – between four and five Megawatts.

“PIP has provided extra flexibility and power that ‘future proofs’ the class for the next 20 to 30 years. It will also enable us to embark and integrate future weapon systems, enhancing the lethality of the Type 45 destroyer,” Ben Power, Dauntless’ Commanding Officer said.

Now back in Portsmouth, Dauntless is undergoing crucial planned maintenance and systems upgrades for the rest of the year.

Trials, training and assessment will follow in the spring, with the ship fully operational again and ready to deploy worldwide from next summer. 

PIP is being delivered under a design and manufacture contract between the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems, and delivered in collaboration with BMT Defence services and Cammell Laird.

HMS Daring, the first ship in the class, is currently undergoing PIP in Birkenhead, as Dauntless was, while HMS Dragon is receiving its new engines as part of a broader refit with BAE in Portsmouth.