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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.

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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

HMS Lancaster - home in time for Christmas

Kissing and cuddling has been going on at Portsmouth Naval Base today as HMS Lancaster arrived home after nine months at sea. The type 23 frigate has sailed more than 35,000 and visited 18 countries.

But the 200 crew couldn't hide their delight at seeing their friends and families. Their support was appreciated by everyone on board. Sally Simmonds watched this very special homecoming.

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Sailor pleads guilty to two sex offences

HMS Montrose Credit: Royal Navy

A Royal Navy sailor has admitted two offences of sexual assault and exposure.

Leading Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering) Mark Schofield, 34, pleaded guilty to the charges at a court martial hearing at Portsmouth Naval Base.

The sailor, from the Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose, was ordered by Judge Advocate Robert Hill to sign on the sex offenders register.

Schofield will be sentenced on February 10.

Royal Marines band's festive surprise for shoppers

Shoppers in Portsmouth's Gunwharf Quays had an unexpected surprise as the sounds of live music filled the air.

From across the shopping centre, musicians from Her Majesty's Royal Marines Portsmouth band began playing the festive song, Carol of the Bells. The "flash mob" stunt was part of the Royal Navy's Yule the Waves campaign, for the making of their special Christmas video.

Laura White, Musician, Royal Marines Band Portsmouth Credit: ITV News Meridian

The video will be released on Tuesday and the Royal Navy are asking people to share it on social media to show support for naval personnel who will be away from their families at Christmas.

Corp Drum Major, Buster Brown, choreographed the performance Credit: ITV News Meridian

HMS Duncan is home for Christmas - after nine months at sea

For hundreds of families Christmas came early - as the crew of HMS Duncan made a triumphant return to Portsmouth after nine months at sea.

The Type 45 destroyer has visited 14 countries and helped in the fight against Islamic State in the Middle East.

Today's homecoming was an emotional reunion for the families of the 240 sailors and marines on board. From the dockside, Chris Maughan reports

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