HMS Dauntless to deploy to the South Atlantic

Todays Portsmouth News revealed that HMS Dauntless is due to deploy to the South Atlantic. The second Type 45 Destroyer to deploy is rumoured to be leaving Portsmouth in late March, to relieve the Devonport-based Type 23 Frigate HMS Montrose. The South Atlantic patrol is a task that has been performed by the older Type 42 Destroyers for some years.

One would imagine that the deployment has been long planned – as was her older sister ship HMS Daring going to the Gulf several weeks ago. The move however does dramatically enhance British forces in the Falklands – a Type 45 sat off the islands, with its Sea Viper missile system and SAMPSON radar, would provide a significant deterrent to any Argentine threat. In addition, she does also carry a Lynx helicopter with anti-surface capability. She could also provide direction for the Eurofighters on the Islands. If you were an Argentine senior officer, you would think twice about sending in your obsolescent airfcraft against a Type 45 Destroyer, with four Eurofighter Tyhoons under direction. Of course, one ship is not enough to fight a war, but as was found in 1976, one ship in the right place might be enough to prevent one from occuring.

There have been some rather inaccurate comments in some media outlets about the deployment. According to the Telegraph, one navy ‘source’ claimed that Dauntless could take out all of South America’s air forces, let alone Argentinas. Well, I’m not sure whether this ‘source’ got his GCSE maths, but there are more military aircraft in Argentina than 48. Not every missile is guaranteed a hit, as the Falklands showed, and even then, missiles are often fired in salvos, ie, more than one per target. Another odd claim is that Dauntless could shoot down Argentinian aircraft as soon as they leave their bases. Well, I doubt Dauntless would be sat off the Argentine coast – too risky – and with my rudimentary knowledge of the geography

The delpoyment is bound to increase tensions with Argentina at an already difficult time – any move that comes across as inflamatory is bound to incense Buenos Aires,



Filed under Falklands War, Navy, Uncategorized

9 responses to “HMS Dauntless to deploy to the South Atlantic

  1. x

    Their Lordships could send a row boat to the South Atlantic and the Argentines would accuse HMG of escalation.

    I would feel happier if Dauntless had a proper sonar and was carrying a Merlin (especially if the latter had an ASM capability.) The lack of Harpoon is a real concern with only the Mk8 and Skua to rely on.

    It isn’t hard to imagine a situation where Dauntless is tracked by a posse of Argentine destroyers and corvettes who goad her. The Browns can match the T45 for speed and do quite literally out gun her. A bit of Cold War/Cod War argy bargy and the RN could be down to 5 T45 if Dauntless if forced home with hull damage. The Argentines can with the spirit of entente cordiale permeating South America can afford to have one of their escorts damaged. As I have said over on another forum the Argentines don’t have to win to a war or even a battle just engineer a situation that allows Third World support to crystallise in the UN.

    • James Daly

      the lack of Anti-surface capability is a worry – 4.5 gun is a red herring, you would never want a T45 to close in enough with anything – either shore or surface vessel – in order to use it. The space in the ops room is there for Harpoon…

      I agree regarding the Argentines and the UN. If they play it smart and play the long game they could, within 50 years, engineer us off the islands. If they don’t do anything rash. That’s what I would do, very slowly and quietly build up firm alliances with non-aligned, second world and third world countries who dominate the UN, and sit it out.

      • x

        Well that is what I am saying in international waters there is nothing stopping the Argentines closing in on Dauntless. This is shot across the bows measured response territory.

        Not that anything will happen. I just think there is a need to move past Fleet Top Trumps Clancy-esque forecasting.

  2. “Fitted for but not with…”

    • x

      A serving RN officer over at ThinkDefence has informed me that T45 being Chinook capable was a design driver from the get go for special forces missions. Didn’t realise this I was probably to busy thinking about SeaViper and ship’s engines. I just thought it was one of those things that happened more than was planned. Seeing as T45 isn’t fitted with the necessary equipment to land Merlin I wonder actually how much the SF Chinook capability was a driver in design.

  3. What do you mean they can’t land Merlin?

    • x

      Merlin requires PRISM deck handling and recovery device, a Ship Helicopter Operating Limits Instrumentation System, a new glide path indicator, gyro-stabilised horizon bar, and electro-luminescent panels for deck orientation. It is my understanding none of which is yet fitted hence Lynx.

  4. Pingback: HMS Daring leaving Portsmouth – some belated pics « Daly History Blog

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