Middle Eastern temperatures leave elite British warships defenceless

Middle Eastern temperatures leave elite British warships defenceless
2 min read
07 Jun, 2016
British Royal Navy destroyers will require a multi-million pound refit after a serious flaw leaves them effectively as sitting ducks.
The warships shut down in high temperatures [Getty]
Britain's Royal Navy has quite literally landed itself in hot water, which is causing its most advanced fleet of destroyers to shut down and immobilise when positioned in the Persian Gulf.

The repeated power outages - which leave the ships unable to attack or move - was reported on Tuesday by Scotland's Daily Record.

Manafacturer Rolls Royce have blamed the Persian Gulf's high temperatures for the problem, which is expected to cost tens of millions of pounds to fix.

Without the corrective work, however, British naval units would be left as sitting ducks in the event of a battle at sea.

A UK government committee discussed the problem in parliament on Tuesday, with naval experts and representatives from Rolls Royce also in attendance.

"I am stunned. A £1 billion asset in a war zone and we don't know if people will come out alive because of a power system fault," Scottish National Party MP Doug Chapman said during the hearing.

The committee also heard from Rolls Royce that the engines installed in the Type-45 Destroyers had been built according to specifications, however the climate of the Middle East was not "in line with these specs."

In response to the problem, the UK's Ministry of Defence plans to fit new diesel generators into the billion pound ships, beginning in 2019.

The cost of fixing the problem, however, will pinch the country's already stretched defence budget.

"This is not a good position to be in," Former First Sea Lord, Lord West said before the committee, telling MPs that the defence ministry had "run out of money, effectively."