UKHMS Daring joins up with US carrier groups

On her maid­en deploy­ment, HMS Dar­ing has worked with not one but two US Car­ri­er Strike Groups — USS Carl Vin­son and USS Abra­ham Lin­coln.

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HMS Dar­ing with Unit­ed States Navy Nimitz Class air­craft car­ri­er the USS Carl Vin­son in the back­ground [Pic­ture: Lead­ing Air­man (Pho­tog­ra­ph­er) Kei­th Mor­gan, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

HMS Dar­ing, the first of six cut­ting-edge Type 45 destroy­ers, has been exer­cis­ing with both 100,000-tonne car­ri­ers as she inte­grates with the UK’s clos­est allies.

That inte­gra­tion has tak­en the form of swap­ping sailors with sev­er­al Amer­i­can ships, notably cruis­ers USS Cape St George and Bunker Hill, as well as the two car­ri­ers, allow­ing the two navies to share exper­tise and ideas and forge good work­ing rela­tion­ships.

The Carl Vin­son leads US Car­ri­er Strike Group One, while the Abra­ham Lin­coln is the flag­ship of Group Nine; there are 11 such groups in all, each com­pris­ing one car­ri­er, one cruis­er, two destroy­ers, one hunter-killer sub­ma­rine and a sup­port ship, plus an air group of more than 60 jets, heli­copters and pis­ton-engined air­craft.

The cul­mi­na­tion of this effort was HMS Dar­ing work­ing ful­ly with the Carl Vin­son and her impres­sive air wing of fast jets.

Daring’s Samp­son radar and com­mand and con­trol sys­tem allow mul­ti­ple tar­gets to be tracked over ranges of up to hun­dreds of kilo­me­tres. That infor­ma­tion is fed to the Aster mis­siles in the silo on the ship’s fore­cas­tle.

With her long-range radar, Dar­ing can track many thou­sands of air con­tacts, giv­ing her unprece­dent­ed sur­veil­lance of huge areas of air­space.

These capa­bil­i­ties make Dar­ing a valu­able asset for a US Car­ri­er Strike Group, pro­vid­ing a com­pre­hen­sive air pic­ture of the com­plex Gulf air­space:

“Work­ing with the US car­ri­ers and their air wings is the cul­mi­na­tion of many months of train­ing and hard work for the ship’s com­pa­ny,” explained Lieu­tenant David Berry, one of two fight­er con­trollers aboard Dar­ing.

“For me, this is the pin­na­cle of my fight­er con­trol­ling career and it is tru­ly amaz­ing to watch it all come togeth­er in this oper­a­tional the­atre. Tak­ing con­trol of F-18 Super Hor­nets in this busy oper­a­tional envi­ron­ment is huge­ly reward­ing.”

Dar­ing is attached to the Com­bined Mar­itime Forces on a wide-rang­ing mar­itime secu­ri­ty mis­sion tack­ling pira­cy, smug­gling, peo­ple-traf­fick­ing, ter­ror­ism and oth­er crim­i­nal activ­i­ties, as well as work­ing with coali­tion and region­al allies.

Daring’s not the only Roy­al Navy ves­sel to link up with a US Car­ri­er Group. In the Ara­bi­an Sea — out­side the Gulf — the Abra­ham Lin­coln joined forces with Britain’s ‘cap­i­tal ship’, HMS West­min­ster.

The Portsmouth-based frigate is also on a mar­itime secu­ri­ty patrol of waters east of Suez, while the Abra­ham Lin­coln is con­duct­ing both that mis­sion and sup­port­ing oper­a­tions in Afghanistan.

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK

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