With a flash of fire and a thunderous roar, HMS Daring lit her 10th birthday candle in spectacular style with the test firing of a Sea Viper missile.
The Type 45 destroyer has become the first ship of her class to complete a second test firing of the Aster 30 missile, proving her world-beating air defence capability as she prepares to deploy on operations again.
The Type 45 destroyer is an advanced class of six guided missile destroyers built for the Royal Navy. The class is primarily designed for anti-aircraft and anti-missile warfare and is built around the Sea Viper air-defence system and the SAMPSON AESA and the S1850M long-range radars.
The first three destroyers were assembled by BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions from partially prefabricated “blocks” built at different shipyards, the remaining three were built by BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships. The first ship in the Daring class, HMS Daring, was launched on 1 February 2006 and commissioned on 23 July 2009.
The Type 45 destroyers were built to replace the Type 42 destroyers that had served during the Falklands War, with the last Type 42 being decommissioned in 2013.
The 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.
After the launch of Daring on 1 February 2006 Admiral Sir Alan West, a former First Sea Lord, stated that it would be the Royal Navy’s most capable destroyer ever, as well as the world’s best air-defence ship. The reduction in the number to be procured from twelve, then to eight and eventually down to six (in 2008) was controversial.