HMS Daring has sailed through the Bosphorus Straight and into the Black Sea, a move described by Russian media as ‘clear provocation’.
The Type 45 destroyer is the most advanced air-defence vessel in the world. So powerful is the vessels SAMPSON radar, from its position in Dublin Port it could monitor the air traffic over the entire island of Ireland. The US Naval War College has suggested that the SAMPSON radar is capable of tracking 1,000 objects the size of a cricket ball travelling at three times the speed of sound
The UK’s National Audit Office reported that, during an “intensive attack”, a single Type 45 could simultaneously track, engage and destroy more targets than five Type 42 destroyers operating together.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon last year had confirmed that the UK was to send a Type 45 Destroyer to the Black Sea in 2017 as a demonstration of the UK’s on-going commitment to support Bulgaria, NATO’s southern flank, and wider shared security interests.
Mr Fallon said at the time:
“We want to send a clear message to our allies that we are standing strong with them to defeat our shared security threats.”
British Army and Royal Marine personnel have been collaborating with NATO forces on a range of exercises to improve interoperability.
The Type 45 Destroyer visit follows-on from HMS Duncan’s participation in a training exercise alongside a Bulgarian Navy minesweeper in November last year – the first major Royal Navy vessel in the Black Sea for seven years.