UKHMS Daring sets sail on maiden deployment

The first Type 45 destroy­er, HMS Dar­ing, sets sail today, 11 Jan­u­ary 2012, on her maid­en deploy­ment in a land­mark event for the Roy­al Navy.

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Pal­lets of food­stuffs ready to be loaded onto HMS Dar­ing for her maid­en deploy­ment [Pic­ture: Lead­ing Air­man (Pho­tog­ra­ph­er) Kei­th Mor­gan, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The Portsmouth-based war­ship — hailed by her Com­mand­ing Offi­cer as ’stag­ger­ing­ly capa­ble’ — will spend the next sev­en months east of Suez, safe­guard­ing sea lanes and work­ing with the UK’s allies in the region.

Eleven years after she was ordered, nine years after the first steel was cut, six years since she was launched into an icy Clyde, and three years after she made her debut in Portsmouth, HMS Dar­ing is ready to main­tain the Navy’s long-term pres­ence east of Suez.

Dar­ing is the first of six £1bn Type 45s, four of which have been hand­ed over to the Roy­al Navy, with three ready for front line duties. She will take over from frigate HMS Argyll on a var­ied mis­sion that includes tasks rang­ing from counter-pira­cy and safe­guard­ing sea lanes to work­ing with the nation’s allies and fly­ing the flag for Britain.

She sails with her 200-plus ship’s com­pa­ny. Her nor­mal com­ple­ment has been bol­stered by a spe­cial­ist Roy­al Marines board­ing team from the Fleet Pro­tec­tion Group and all those aboard are eager to show off what has been hailed as one of the most advanced war­ships in the world:

“We know that Dar­ing is more capa­ble than any­thing which has gone to sea before,” said nav­i­ga­tor Lieu­tenant Will Black­ett.

“This ship was designed for any­thing — and is ready for any­thing.

“There are mixed emo­tions of course. We will be away from home for sev­en months. But there’s also that sense of excite­ment. I’ve been on board for 20 months, I’ve gone through see­ing the ship go from some­thing on tri­als and train­ing to a war­ship ready to go. Deploy­ment is the reward for all our effort.”

2011 was large­ly dom­i­nat­ed by train­ing, tri­als and tweaks. The ship fired her Sea Viper — the mis­sile sys­tem around which she is built — for the first time off Scot­land in May. She was fit­ted with Pha­lanx auto­mat­ed guns over the sum­mer, and under­went two months of oper­a­tional sea train­ing in the autumn.

The lat­ter test, car­ried out under the aus­pices of the world-renowned Flag Offi­cer Sea Train­ing organ­i­sa­tion, saw the final tick in the box: ready to deploy.

Giv­en cur­rent ten­sions in the Gulf region, ques­tions have been raised in the media about her deploy­ment there. This rou­tine deploy­ment has though been planned for a good six months or more:

“As far as the Navy is con­cerned, this is a rou­tine deploy­ment. To deploy Dar­ing her­self for the first time is far from rou­tine of course, tak­ing a ship of this com­plex­i­ty away from the UK for sev­en months,” said Com­mand­ing Offi­cer Cap­tain Guy Robin­son.

“There’s been a year of hard work get­ting her ready. Now is the chance to show what we can do. This ship is stag­ger­ing­ly capa­ble — she stands along­side the best in the world.”

Daring’s chief cater­er, Chief Pet­ty Offi­cer ‘Bill’ Bai­ley, begin­ning his first deploy­ment in the sur­face fleet after a career in sub­marines, says there’s a ‘great cama­raderie on board’:

“You step across the brow of Dar­ing and you’re proud to serve in her. That shows all over,” he con­tin­ued.

“These have been excit­ing times, the build up for this, get­ting her ready. We’re very aware that we’ll be show­ing what the ship can do.”

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK

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