Page last updated at 16:04 GMT, Wednesday, 1 February 2006

Daring launch good news for Clyde

By Hayley Millar
BBC Scotland business correspondent

HMS Daring
The vessel will be fitted out with state of the art equipment

HMS Daring is the biggest warship ever to launch at the Scotstoun shipyard in Glasgow.

Every new ship is named by a Lady Sponsor and HMS Daring had a Royal launch, with Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex as her sponsor.

The Type 45s will replace the Navy's ageing fleet of Type 42 destroyers, such as HMS Glasgow.

On the outside, first-of-class Daring is significantly bigger, but it is inside where the real differences lie.

Lt Cdr Dean Woodruff RN, who has been overseeing Daring's progress, said she was something special for the Royal Navy.

The combat system is the cutting edge of technology and we've gone to a full electric propulsion system
Lt Cdr Dean Woodruff

He said: "When she comes into service in 2009, we're going to have the most advanced warship in the world.

"The combat system is the cutting edge of technology and we've gone to a full electric propulsion system."

HMS Daring will have more firepower than the combined fleet of Type 42 destroyers.

Her main weapon, the Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS), will monitor the airspace for hundreds of miles around the fleet she is protecting.

For those serving on HMS Daring, life at sea should be much more advanced too.

Modern accommodation

More space has been allocated for recreational areas including the first purpose built fitness centre.

The old-style messes accommodating 30 or 40 men have been replaced by cabins which sleep six.

Each berth will have its own internet connection.

Artist's impression of the HMS Dauntless
Length - 152.4m
Beam - 21.2m (max)
Displacement - 7,350 tonnes
Range - 7,000 nautical miles
Max speed - 27 knots
Complement - 190 (max 235)

Lt Cdr Woodruff said it was a distinct step forward for the Royal Navy.

"We've certainly caught up with the electronic age," he said.

"Nowadays the crew can write home on their laptops and it can be with their loved ones within hours rather than days, which is what I was used to when I first joined up."

All ranks were asked what they would like on board Daring and 95% of their ideas have been incorporated.

"When I've been hosting fleet visits up here, they always tell me that they want to serve on this ship," Lt Cdr Woodruff added.

D-class fleet

"She should definitely help us recruit in the future."

Daring is the first of the Royal Navy's D-class of ships.

So far six ships have been ordered by the Ministry of Defence.

Dauntless and Diamond are currently being built across the Clyde at BAE's Govan yard.

The star of the show waits to take to the waters of the Clyde

Along with Dragon, Defender and Duncan, the others will launch from Govan.

This 'production line' approach has led to improved efficiency in the Type 45 programme.

Andy Hamilton, BAE System's shipbuilding director at Govan is overseeing Daring's sister ships at the yard.

He admitted that as each ship was built, efficiencies improved.

Mr Hamilton said: "Today we drive for efficiency, so we need to ensure we're doing the work in the most cost effective manner."

Record investment

HMS Dauntless and Diamond are being fitted out to a much higher level than any previous class of ship.

Mr Hamilton said that, a year before her launch date, Dauntless was fitted out to a level normally not expected until two years after launch.

This expertise will prepare BAE Systems for its involvement in the Navy's new aircraft carriers, part of which will be built on the Clyde. Record number of apprentices and record levels of investment in the yards signal the healthiest future Clyde shipbuilding has seen for some time.

Diagram of 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)

video and audio news
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