Here are some belated pictures of HMS Daring leaving Portsmouth for the Middle East a few weeks ago.
Just to give you an idea of how long ago she left, she was last in port at Aqaba, in Jordan after transiting the Suez Canal!
Expect even bigger crowds when HMS Dauntless leaves for the South Atlantic next month…
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,
HMS Dauntless, shown here in the Clyde
HMS Dauntless, the second of the Royal Navy’s new Type 45 Destroyers, arrived in Portsmouth today.
After a short delivery from the BAe system yard at Scotstoun on Clyde, Dauntless spent last night moored at Spithead, before weighing anchor and steaming into the harbour at 11am today. Sadly there was no flypast or any kind of event made of the occasion, which would have been an ideal time to ‘fly the flag’ for the Navy. The Army or the RAF would probably not have missed such an opportunity to show off a new fighter or a new vehicle.
Dauntless is the second in a batch of six ships. The first, HMS Daring, arrived in Portsmouth earlier this year. The Royal Navy is due to take delivery of the next four ships at the rate of one a year for the next four years. The rest of the class – Defender, Duncan, Dragon and Diamond – are all under construction. They will replace the rapidly ageing fleet of Type 42 Destroyers, which first entered service almost 35 years ago.
As impressive as they look, and as great as it is to finally see some new Destroyers for the Navy, several problems still remain. Six is nowhere near enough, by anyones standards. There will only realistically ever be 2 available at any one time for deployment, maybe 3 at a push. After originally planning for 12, the order was cut first to 10, then to 8, and finally to 6. These cuts are thought to have been in order to secure funding in the long term for the planned new aircraft carriers.
Also, the new Sea Viper missile, although being trumpeted by sources as a very capable missile, has not even been test fired yet. Dauntless is due to test fire it for the first time during her sea trials. Apart from raising the obvious question of why Daring has not been tasked to test it – what else is a lead ship for? – until the missile has been proven the Type 45’s are the worlds most advanced air control ships.
Filed under event, Navy, News