HMS Dauntless, which weighs 8,500 tonnes has been stuck at Portsmouth Harbour because of engine problems and a shortage of sailors, reports suggest. Analysis of Ministry of Defence figures reveal the fleet spent most of its time sitting in the harbour instead of being on operations.
It is expected that the Type 45 destroyer will not be back in service with the Royal Navy until next year.
Joe Ventre, digital campaign manager of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers will be disappointed to hear that so much of their money is being wasted.
“A failure to properly plan and deliver value for money will now once again leave taxpayers adrift and leave less money for those who keep the country safe.
“The brave men and women who serve in our navy deserve better from their decision makers.”
HMS Dauntless has been in Portsmouth for the last four years.
HMS Dauntless has been deployed across the world.
Lord West of Spithead, former First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy, told The Sunday Mirror: ‘We should have pushed ahead as soon as we knew what the problem was and it is dreadful it has taken so long.
“We need to get them fixed and out there operating.
“We need ships in case we have a war.”
Dauntless was the second of six new design destroyers built for the Royal Navy.
HMS Dauntless leaves Portsmouth for a deployment to the South Pacific.
It was launched in January 2007 in Govan, Scotland before being handed over to the Royal Navy on 3 December 2009 and was formally commissioned in June 2010.
The ship was one of the first to fire the Sea Viper missile, which travels at over 18,000mph as well as defending her fellow ships from enemy attack.
Type 45 destroyers have nearly twice the range – about 7,000 miles – and are 45 percent more fuel efficient than the Type 42 destroyers they are replacing in the £6bn project.
Figures released by the MOD also reveal that HMS Dauntless’ sister ships HMS Daring spent the past two years tied up in dock whilst HMS Diamond only spent 15 days at sea last year.
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HMS Dauntless leaving Portsmouth.
The three other destroyers – HMS Defender, HMS Dragon and HMS Duncan are currently out on operations.
In response to the concerns, a Royal Navy spokesman, said: “Type 45 destroyers are held at various levels of readiness in accordance with defence requirements.
“They rotate through planned operating cycles involving maintenance, training, deployment, leave and upgrades including the Power Improvement Project [to fix the engines], which is now under way.”