Page last updated at 02:30 GMT, Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Type 45 Daring class destroyer


A guided tour around HMS Daring's state of the art equipment and facilities

HMS Daring, the first of six Type 45 Anti Air Warfare Destroyers in production for the Royal Navy, has docked at its home port of Portsmouth for the first time.

It has been hailed by its creators as the most powerful and advanced vessel of its kind.

As a class of warship, destroyers have historically been small, agile ships designed to protect larger, slower convoys and strike groups from airborne and naval threats.

Since the end of World War II, destroyers have steadily grown, both in size and in terms of firepower.

HMS Daring is no exception to this trend. The Type 45 destroyer's primary mission is air defence, a role that its arsenal reflects.

The Principal Anti Air Missile System (Paams) is the Type 45's primary weapons platform and is designed to combat enemy missile attacks on ships.

Paams consists of a 48-cell vertical missile launcher that allows the destroyer to engage targets from 360 degrees.

The missiles themselves are a mix of Aster 15s and Aster 30s, which can strike targets at distances of up to 30km (19 miles) and 100km (62 miles) respectively.

They are radar-guided by the Sampson phased-array radar system perched, like the head of a snowman, atop the Type 45's mast.

The radar suite on the Type 45 can track targets for hundreds of miles around, on the sea and in the air.

Photo of the HMS Daring on sea trials
1. Bow sonar system - below keel
114mm deck gun
3. Vertical launcher system
4. Aster15 Surface-to-Air Anti-Missile
5. Electro optical fire control for guns
6. Navigation radar
7. Missile fire control radar and surveillance
8. 30mm gun
9. Long range radar
10. Flight deck and hangar for helicopter

Length - 152.4m

Beam - 21.2m (max)

Displacement - 7,350 tonnes

Range - 7,000 nautical miles

Stores - 45 days

Max speed - 28+ knots

Complement - 190 (max 235)

In addition to missiles, the Type 45 also has an electro-optically guided 114mm deck gun forward and 30mm weapons on the port and starboard sides.

While these weapons do not pose much of a threat to other naval vessels, they will enable the Type 45s to fulfil additional roles such as providing supporting fire for troops on land.

The destroyers can also host either Merlin or Lynx helicopters, which are armed with torpedoes and depth charges, and in the case of the Lynx, Sea Skua anti-ship missiles.

The Royal Navy is currently testing 155mm guns to replace the 114mm. As well as having greater destructive power, these guns would provide a 50% increase in range.

Fitness centres

The crew complement is 190 though there is room for 235 on board.

Amenities for improvements in quality of life seem fairly common on the Type 45; berths that were previously home to 30 or 40 men have been replaced by cabins which sleep six.

These will have internet access. Recreation facilities and fitness centres are also built into the vessels.

Construction on HMS Daring began in 2003. She was launched in February 2006, started sea trials in October 2007 and is expected to be commissioned into the navy in the next six months.

Since launching HMS Daring, BVT Surface Fleet Ltd has launched three more Type 45s, Dauntless, Diamond and Dragon.

Defender is expected to launch in October, 2009, leaving only Duncan of the original six Type 45s ordered by the navy.

Are you in Portsmouth to see HMS Daring dock? Although not yet commissioned, are you sailing onboard the vessel?

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