Britain’s Most Advanced Warship Crosses Channel to Visit Affiliated Island
Britain’s most advanced warship crossed the Channel to visit her affiliated island for the first time in 18 months.
HMS Daring’s busy trials programme has kept the £1bn destroyer away from Guernsey since April 2010, and after a summer of work in Portsmouth Naval Base, where impressive new kit was fitted to prepare her for her maiden deployment, it was time to reaffirm old friendships.
The size and draught of the Type 45 warship means she cannot enter the harbour at St Peter Port so she anchored within sight of the Guernsey capital throughout her weekend visit.
Barely was the anchor lowered than the first visitors were arriving by boat: Guernsey Sea Scouts and the Sea Cadets of TS Sarnia who were given a guided tour of the state-of-the-art warship.
While the ship’s company were hosting youngsters, Commanding Officer Capt Guy Robinson was host to 21 VIPs, including Guernsey’s Lieutenant Governor Air Marshal Peter Walker – the Queen’s representative on the island – and its Bailiff, Sir Geoffrey Rowland.
Capt Robinson, paying his first visit to Guernsey as Daring’s CO, said:
“It is important to get out the message to the public about what the Royal Navy does.”
“We rely on our affiliated communities to support us and we do charity work for them, so it is a two-way street.”
A reception and capability demonstration followed in the evening for more than 100 guests who braved the boat transfer to the ship to witness Daring’s sailors showing what they do on a day-to-day basis……something which ordinary Guernsey folk were treated to the following day when Daring was opened to visitors. More than 500 people hopped on to the transfer boat and a few minutes later clambered aboard the 45.
They were shown the Lynx, the Ship Control Centre – where the engineers monitor all Daring’s machinery and propulsion systems – and the hi-tech operations, room which is the envy of the Fleet: a spacious, computer console-filled room from where the ship directs a battle.
Warfare rating LS Sommerville said:
“It was great to show the public around our ship, including its state of the art capabilities and Gucci new kit.”
That “Gucci new kit” includes Phalanx automated Gatling guns which were fitted over the summer so Daring can fend off any enemy aircraft which might penetrate her Sea Viper missile system – as well as fast attack craft on the ocean.
The destroyer is currently exercising off the South Coast as she tests her new equipment and prepares for her first operational deployment in the new year. 2012 will see the Type 45s come of age with all three operational destroyers – Daring, Dauntless and Diamond – due to deploy for the first time.
Source: royalnavy, September 7, 2011;