UK — Royal Navy’s most advanced destroyer sets course into service

While appear­ing at Portsmouth Navy Days the first of the Roy­al Navy’s new Type 45 Class destroy­ers, HMS Dar­ing, was declared for­mal­ly avail­able for task­ing on Sat­ur­day 31 July 2010.

Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring at HM Naval Base Portmouth during the Senior Service's Navy Days annual open event
Roy­al Navy Type 45 destroy­er HMS Dar­ing at HM Naval Base Port­mouth dur­ing the Senior Service’s Navy Days annu­al open event
Source: Lead­ing Air­man (Pho­tog­ra­ph­er) Dean Nixon, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

HMS Dar­ing was com­mis­sioned into the Roy­al Navy fleet in July 2009. Since then the ship has been under­tak­ing a series of MOD-man­aged tri­als and accep­tance activ­i­ties to test and con­firm the ship’s tech­ni­cal capa­bil­i­ty and ensure that it is ready to join the Roy­al Navy as a front line warship. 

This peri­od has includ­ed Daring’s crew under­tak­ing rig­or­ous basic oper­a­tional sea train­ing and the Type 45 mak­ing its first over­seas vis­it, to Ireland. 

Now, the 7,500-tonne ship can offi­cial­ly begin to play a key role in var­i­ous oper­a­tions around the world. 

HMS Daring’s abil­i­ty to oper­ate a range of heli­copters from its flight deck and embark up to 60 troops, in addi­tion to the ship’s own com­pa­ny, make the war­ship a ver­sa­tile Roy­al Naval asset, able to sup­port land forces and car­ry out human­i­tar­i­an missions. 

Min­is­ter for Defence Equip­ment, Sup­port and Tech­nol­o­gy, Peter Luff, said: 

Her Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth opens its doors to the public for Navy Days 2010
Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth opens its doors to the pub­lic for Navy Days 2010
Source: Lead­ing Air­man (Pho­tog­ra­ph­er) Dean Nixon, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

“The first in-ser­vice date for the Type 45 Class is a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment for both the pro­gramme and the Roy­al Navy. It rep­re­sents the first step towards deliv­er­ing the fleet of the future. 

“Along with her five sis­ter ships, Dar­ing will set new stan­dards in air defence and will demon­strate her wider abil­i­ty across the future chal­lenges faced by the Armed Forces. I have no doubt that Dar­ing will pro­vide ster­ling ser­vice through­out its life.” 

Cap­tain Pad­dy McAlpine, Daring’s Com­mand­ing Offi­cer, said: 

“Dar­ing rep­re­sents a step change for the Roy­al Navy. Her tech­nol­o­gy and design make her an easy ship to fight with and my abil­i­ty to con­trol the air­space around the task force is unsurpassed. 

“My ship’s com­pa­ny and I are proud and priv­i­leged to serve in this tru­ly mag­nif­i­cent ship, forg­ing the way for the class. The poten­tial that I have wit­nessed to date promis­es that this capa­bil­i­ty is set to become the cor­ner­stone of the future Roy­al Navy.” 

HMS Daring (left) and Royal Navy Type 22 frigate HMS Cumberland (right) at HM Naval Base Portsmouth during Navy Days 2010
HMS Dar­ing (left) and Roy­al Navy Type 22 frigate HMS Cum­ber­land (right) at HM Naval Base Portsmouth dur­ing Navy Days 2010
Source: Lead­ing Air­man (Pho­tog­ra­ph­er) Dean Nixon, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

Head of the Type 45 pro­gramme, Com­modore Steve Brun­ton, said: 

“This mile­stone is the cul­mi­na­tion of a huge amount of hard work over five years of con­struc­tion, and anoth­er two years of tri­als and devel­op­ment, by 4,000 work­ers at the Clyde and Portsmouth ship­yards, many more at sup­pli­ers across the UK, and staff at MOD and in the Roy­al Navy. 

“The strong rela­tion­ship between MOD, indus­try and the Roy­al Navy has been crit­i­cal to achiev­ing today’s success.” 

HMS Dar­ing was in Portsmouth at the week­end as part of Navy Days, the Roy­al Navy’s annu­al event that gives the pub­lic the chance to meet the peo­ple and the ships of the mod­ern Navy. 

More than 25,000 vis­i­tors flocked to Portsmouth Naval Base for the three-day event which end­ed on Sun­day 1 August. 

HMS Dar­ing and sis­ter ves­sel Daunt­less opened their doors to the pub­lic along with six oth­er ships, includ­ing ‘float­ing hos­pi­tal’ Roy­al Fleet Aux­il­iary ves­sel Argus, fresh from a recent refit. 

 Crowds get a glimpse into the Royal Navy's past as historical re-enactors fire volleys from long-barrelled muskets at Portsmouth dockyard
Crowds get a glimpse into the Roy­al Navy’s past as his­tor­i­cal re-enac­tors fire vol­leys from long-bar­relled mus­kets at Portsmouth dock­yard
Source: Lead­ing Air­man (Pho­tog­ra­ph­er) Dean Nixon, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

His­toric ships HMS Vic­to­ry and HMS War­rior also proved a big draw, as did a BAE Sys­tems exhi­bi­tion fea­tur­ing the company’s cur­rent ship­build­ing projects, includ­ing the two Queen Eliz­a­beth Class air­craft car­ri­ers, and a glimpse of the future, the Type 26 com­bat ship, which is expect­ed to enter ser­vice in the ear­ly 2020s and will replace the Navy’s cur­rent fleet of Type 22 and 23 frigates. 

Com­modore Rob Thomp­son, Naval Base Com­man­der, said: 

“Navy Days was a huge suc­cess. The main­ly dry and warm weath­er played a part but a big draw was see­ing the Roy­al Navy’s ships and per­son­nel at close hand. 

“The event proved an excit­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty to show the gen­er­al pub­lic the wide role of the Roy­al Navy and what its men and women are up to across the globe — from tak­ing the fight to the Tal­iban in Afghanistan to coun­ter­ing pirates in the Gulf of Aden.” 

HMS Dar­ing is due to under­go fur­ther oper­a­tional train­ing and capa­bil­i­ty devel­op­ment in prepa­ra­tion for her first oper­a­tional deploy­ment, planned for 2011. 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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