UKHMS Daring becomes first Type 45 to pass through the Suez Canal

HMS Dar­ing, the first of the Roy­al Navy’s new Type 45 air defence destroy­ers, passed through the Suez Canal on 30 Jan­u­ary 2012.

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HMS Dar­ing approach­es the spec­tac­u­lar ‘Friend­ship Bridge’ on the Suez Canal just before dawn [Pic­ture: LA(Phot) Kei­th Mor­gan, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge
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A mem­ber of Daring’s force pro­tec­tion teams mans his sta­tion dur­ing the tran­sit­ing of the canal [Pic­ture: LA(Phot) Kei­th Mor­gan, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

This tran­sit marks the first time the stealthy sil­hou­ette of a Type 45 has been seen glid­ing through this sea high­way.

The canal is 120 miles (193km) long, 205 metres wide, and pro­vides a much short­er route for ships tran­sit­ing from the Mediter­ranean to the Red Sea.

The alter­na­tive route around Africa and the Cape of Good Hope is sig­nif­i­cant­ly longer.

The tran­sit is a key mile­stone in the life of HMS Dar­ing and her first deploy­ment of 2012.

The pas­sage now means that Dar­ing has offi­cial­ly entered her area of oper­a­tions, anoth­er first for a Type 45.

The ship’s force pro­tec­tion teams were at full readi­ness dur­ing the 12-hour tran­sit and were super­vised by the Gun­nery Offi­cer, Lieu­tenant Jason Han­ni­gan.

He said:

“We have trained repeat­ed­ly to pre­pare for this demand­ing pas­sage.

“The team per­formed well and the ship made the tran­sit through the Suez exact­ly as planned; it was a par­tic­u­lar­ly proud day for me in my career in the Roy­al Navy.”

Some of the sights from the canal were spec­tac­u­lar, par­tic­u­lar­ly pass­ing under the ‘Friend­ship Bridge’, a large road bridge which spans the canal.

HMS Dar­ing made a remark­able sight and was part of a long con­voy of large mer­chant ves­sels of all descrip­tions.

The ship will be act­ing as part of the Roy­al Navy’s stand­ing com­mit­ment in the Mid­dle East.

Her task­ing ranges from mar­itime secu­ri­ty, counter-pira­cy and capac­i­ty-build­ing to the wider mar­itime secu­ri­ty effort help­ing to main­tain sta­bil­i­ty in the region, includ­ing human­i­tar­i­an aid and dis­as­ter relief.

She will also work close­ly with oth­er inter­na­tion­al navies in the region, includ­ing the Unit­ed States Navy’s Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain.

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK

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