Daring-class Type 45 Air Defence Destroyer
The Type 45 is a new class of Anti-Air Warfare Destroyer to replace the Royal Navy's existing Type 42s. It will carry the Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS) capable of protecting the vessels themselves and ships in their company against aircraft and missiles, satisfying the Fleet's need for area air defence capability well into the next century. PAAMS is being procured collaboratively with France and Italy.
The class is to be known as the 'D' Class. HMS Daring, HMS Dauntless, HMS Diamond, HMS Dragon, HMS Defender and HMS Duncan have been announced as the names of the first six ships. The first of class, HMS Daring, entered service with the Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS) Sea Viper performance having been tested but before the missile has been fired from a destroyer. The Department plans to fit a number of equipments incrementally on ships after they have come into service, meaning that the full capability of the ship will not be available until the middle of the decade.
The Type 45 Destroyers equipped with PAAMS will replace the current Type 42 Destroyers fitted with the Sea Dart anti-air warfare system. Designed in the 1960s, Sea Dart provides limited effectiveness against emerging stressing 21st century threats. A program of modifications to upgrade Sea Dart so that it can deal more effectively with modern threats such as sea-skimming and high-diving missiles is underway. The upgrade equipping Sea Dart with infrared fuses was originally forecast to come into service in 1993 but is running eight years late, primarily due to technical difficulties. It was forecast to come into service in mid-2001 at a cost of £43 million. This delay contributed to the anti-air capability shortfall.
The Type 45 Destroyer's principal role will be anti-air warfare and, equipped with PAAMS, the British Navy believes that the ship will be a world leader in its Class, capable of meeting both existing and emerging threats. The new ship has also been designed to contribute to a wide range of other operational scenarios ranging from humanitarian relief to anti-drug and embargo operations and incorporates significant margins of growth to facilitate future upgrades and added capability.
By 1999 it appeared that the first three Type 45 Destroyers would enter service with some capability shortfalls because some capabilities, such as a sonar, have been traded-off to make the ships affordable and to enable them to be brought into service sooner. The lack of sonar could impose operational and ship scheduling constraints on the initial ships until it is fitted. For example, without sonar it is unlikely that the Type 45 Destroyers would be deployed alone to theaters where a significant submarine threat is perceived. To address the shortfalls, the Department has planned an Incremental Acquisition Program whose priorities are the fitting of sonar and improved command and control, situational awareness and interoperability functions.
Dr Tyler explained that there had been some recent set-backs in the program: "HMS Daring has got PAAMS capability today. The process of generating what we would call full operating capability, trialled, verified and tested, is going to take . a couple of years longer to generate. You might have read reports recently about our final trials firing which was not successful. It is too early for us to come up with the diagnosis for that, but that has been a set back in terms of the generation of the full capability and we are working extremely hard with the other two partner nations in the company to resolve what the problems were with that firing."
The Type 45 Destroyer provides a much greater capability compared to the Type 42 it is planned to replace, but has experienced considerable delays of over two years and cost increases of £1.5 billion because of over-optimism about what could be achieved, inappropriate commercial arrangements and poor project management in the early stages.
The White Paper "Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence Review" (Cm 7948), presented to the House on 19 October 2010, explained the Government's intention to make certain changes to the armed forces in order to deliver the force structure we require for the future and to help address the legacy of unaffordability in the defence budget. The six Type 45 destroyers will be procured.
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