The UK Ministry of Defence has confirmed a new £160m contract with an alliance team led by BAE Systems to upgrade and modernise the power and propulsion system installed on the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers.

In addition to BAE Systems, the alliance comprises shipbuilding and conversion specialist Cammell Laird, and naval design and technical support provider BMT.

The UK Royal Navy’s Power Improvement Project (PIP) has been designed to integrate additional power generation sources in each Type 45-class vessel in order to help enhance the resilience of the naval vessels.

“While the first of class conversion is expected to complete in 2021, work on the following ships will be completed during the early 2020s.”

The project will improve the power and propulsion system of the destroyers by replacing the two existing generators with three larger units, which would include an additional diesel generator and the modification of the high voltage system on each vessel.

Under the contract, the companies will be responsible for the design and integration of the technical solution, delivery of equipment and physical installation on board all six Type 45 destroyers.

BAE Systems Maritime Services managing director David Mitchard said: “By combining the collective knowledge, experience and skills of BAE Systems, Cammell Laird and BMT we are demonstrating our commitment to present a robust technical solution with an innovative commercial alliance.

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“Our aim is to rapidly restore command confidence in the power and propulsion system of the Type 45 fleet, demonstrate value for money and safeguard vital skills for future generations of warship support.”

The physical conversion work will be carried out at Cammell Laird’s shipyard in Birkenhead, Merseyside, and will help retain more than 100 highly skilled job opportunities.

While the first of class conversion is expected to complete in 2021, work on the following ships will be completed during the early 2020s.