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.”
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.
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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.”