Page last updated at 07:47 GMT, Friday, 16 January 2009

On board 'world class' destroyer

HMS Daring
HMS Daring is the first Type 45 destroyer built at the Clyde shipyards.
The first of the Royal Navy's new warships will leave the Clyde for the last time on Friday.

HMS Daring is the first of six Type 45 destroyers being built at the Clyde shipyards.

BBC Scotland business correspondent Hayley Millar went below deck for a last look around.

It is almost three years since I was last on board HMS Daring, shortly before she launched. It seems a long time ago, but it has taken this long to fit her out and test her propulsion and systems.

Surrounded by hustle and bustle, Daring's commanding officer Captain Paul Bennett seems incredibly relaxed in his cabin. He says it has taken this long to carry out sea trials because this new class of ship is so much more complex.

He said: "Eighty per cent of the ship's equipment is different, so the ship's company has had a lot to learn. There's been a great deal of risk taken in the build to make sure that this is a world-beating capability. She is going to be the best air defence destroyer in the world."

My task now is to make sure the ship's weapons systems work to the full extent of their capability
Captain Paul Bennett
Daring's commanding officer
Capt Bennett paid tribute to the BVT's workforce on the Clyde.

"Different class," he said.

Moored on the Clyde, HMS Daring could detect a missile launched from the Outer Hebrides, identify it and destroy it before it reached Fort William. And she could do that eight times in a row.

Sailors who have served on other ships will also notice a big difference in accommodation. The old-style messes of 30 or 40 men have been replaced by cabins for only six crew. The ship also has more recreational space on board.

On Friday, HMS Daring will start making her way to her base port of Portsmouth, where more trials will be completed.

Capt Bennett said: "My task now is to make sure the ship's weapons systems work to the full extent of their capability and that will take about 11 months. It seems a long time, but it indicates just how complex these weapons will be."

As HMS Daring leaves the Clyde for the last time, the Type 45 production line continues. The fifth ship, Defender, is due to launch this October.

Diagram of a new Type-45 destroyer
1 Flight deck to take Lynx or Merlin combat helicopter
2 Navigation radar
3 Long-range radar monitors air and surface threats
4 Communications mast
5 Small-calibre gun
6 Multi-function radar can guide ship's missiles and detect enemy ones
7 Gunfire control system
8 Vertical-launching system for short- and long-range missiles
9 Medium-calibre main gun
10 Bow sonar (under keel)

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