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New engines for Royal Navy warships which 'keep breaking down'

They are world class, described as the 'backbone of the Royal Navy'. But the Ministry of Defence has been forced to admit that the six Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyers need new engines - because they keep breaking down at sea.

There has been persistent problems with the engines and power systems on the warships, which cost a billion pounds each.

In 2014, HMS Dauntless had to abandon a training exercise. And in 2009, HMS Daring lost power in the Atlantic, on her first voyage to the US.

The MoD won't disclose how much the work will cost - but it's thought it could run to tens of millions of pounds.

Richard Jones reports.

HMS Mersey to leave Portsmouth for seven-month deployment

HMS Mersey will leave Portsmouth for a seven month deployment Credit: Royal Navy

HMS Mersey will leave her home in Portsmouth today to set off on a seven month deployment to the North Atlantic.

Crew on-board the ship will provide security to overseas territories in the Caribbean, as well as be on standby for disaster relief operations.

HMS Mersey will leave Portsmouth for a seven month deployment Credit: Royal Navy

"This will be a busy and exciting deployment for Mersey and her ship's company. Over the past few months we've worked hard to train and prepare the ship and we are ready for the wide variety of tasks that may be required of us."

– The ship's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Richie Hewitt


Warning to walkers after cracks appear in sea defences

The cracks appeared during wet and windy weather Credit: Donna Jones

Walkers have been told to stay clear of sea defences at Southsea in Hampshire because of major cracks. The leader of Portsmouth Council, Donna Jones, says that the damage appeared during wet and windy conditions over Christmas. Contractors have put up barriers while inspections are carried out.

Portsmouth cycle circuit to reopen

Upgrade work on the cycle circuit at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth has begun ahead of a planned reopening in January. The work has been agreed and funded by Portsmouth City Council, Parkwood Community Leisure and British Cycling, supported by Sport England.

"I'm very pleased that a local sporting facility will be open again. We'll continue to work together, with local cycling clubs, to develop a new programme of activities and events."

– Cllr Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council
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