HMS DARING begins new naval
A new chapter in British naval history began today in earnest as HMS DARING, billed as the world's most advanced warship, left the BAE shipyard on the Clyde where she is being completed, to begin her sea trials..
The massive destroyer, the biggest in the Royal Navy since the days of the battle-cruisers, left her berth at the Scotstoun shipyard at 13:00 hrs to proceed downriver to the Firth of Clyde and out to sea where her first series of tests take place.
She is the first of six Type 45's being built at Glasgow, with sections also being built at VT Shipbuilding in Portsmouth. In the early hours of yesterday morning she was assisted out of drydock and berthed at the fitting out quay where earlier today she took on bunkers.
BAE Systems engineers and Royal Navy personnel will conduct the trials and be her permanent crew. The trials and further integration of her weapons systems will take place through to the end of 2008 when she will be handed over to the Royal Navy.
She is the first surface fighting ship to be powered entirely by electricity, enough to power the needs of the Shetland Islands!
Crucially the vessel has a SAMPSON radar and MBDA Principal Anti-Air Missile System ( PAAMS ) missile system which, BAE Systems claims, together can track and destroy a target as small as a cricket ball moving at three times the speed of sound. The radar can track hundreds of targets at a time and the air defence system is many times more effective and powerful than the existing systems on RN ships.
The ships are significantly larger than the Type 42 they are to replace, displacing 7350 tons compared to the older destroyers' 5200 tons.
HMS DARING was launched at the Scotstoun yard on the 1st of February 2006. The second of the series, HMS DAUNTLESS, was launched further up the River Clyde at Govan shipyard earlier this year on the 23rd of January. All of the remaining ships will be launched at Govan and outfitted at Scotstoun. The third of class, HMS DIAMOND is rapidly taking shape on the slipway at Govan and it is believed she will launch in November of this year. Her bow section was delivered from Portsmouth to the Govan yard in May whilst funnel and mast sections were towed up and arrived at the Clyde yard on the 11th of July.
The remaining three vessels will be named DRAGON, DEFENDER and DUNCAN.
The shipyards on the Clyde give employment to over 3000 workers whilst VT employs around 900 workers at its warship building unit in Portsmouth.
Work on the programme has progressed very successfully and BAE Systems' boss Vic Emery praised the Clyde workforce today for their efforts and hailed the start of trials as a major milestone in delivering "the world's most advanced warship".
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