HMS Daring, the first of the Royal Navyâ€™s new Type 45 destroyers, was officially launched today by the Countess of Wessex at BAE Systemsâ€™ Scotstoun shipyard in Glasgow.
HMS Daring will be equipped with a state of the art air defence system which will be able to track and destroy a target the size of a cricket ball travelling three times the speed of sound - a quantum leap forward in capability for the Royal Navy. Over 150m long, weighing over 7,000 tonnes with a crew of 190 and a range of 7000 nautical miles, she, and the rest of the T-45 destroyers, are designed using cutting edge technology to be flexible multi-role vessels able to carry out a variety of tasks across the globe, from their primary air defence role to humanitarian and anti-smuggling roles.
Secretary of State for Defence John Reid said:
â€œHMS Daring is the most powerful destroyer the UK has ever built. The launch of this first Type 45 is a milestone in the development of the Royal Navy of the future. It is proof that the Government gives our sailors the tools they need to do their job now and in the future.
â€œI also pay tribute to the thousands of people up and down the country involved in the Type 45 programme, particularly the shipbuilders on the Clyde and in Portsmouth. They should be extremely proud of what they have achieved.â€
The First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West said:
â€œThe launch of DARING is a wonderful day for the nation and the Royal Navy. She will be the Royal Navyâ€™s most capable destroyer ever, and will enter service later this decade as the best air defence ship in the world. She represents the best of British high technology innovation and engineering. DARING and her class will ensure the Royal Navy remains the best in the world able to protect the UKâ€™s interests worldwide in the 21st century.â€
The cost of the first six ships is expected to be about Â£6 billion and their construction is expected to sustain over 2,000 jobs on the Clyde and around 650 at Vosper Thornycroft in Portsmouth. In addition, many other UK companies are benefiting from work on the programme. The In Service date for the first Type 45 is 2009 with the others coming into service progressively throughout the next decade