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Type 45 Daring destroyer

Daring-class Type 45 - Design

At around 7,350 tonnes in weight and over 150 meters long, the Type 45s will be the biggest and most powerful air defence destroyers ever built for the Royal Navy and the largest general purpose surface warships. Equipped with the world-leading Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS), providing the fleet with an air defence capability several orders of magnitude greater than provided by the existing Type 42 destroyers. They will be equipped with the world-beating Sampson Active Phased array radar, making them a world class maritime area air defence capability.

The hull structure is made of 2800 tonnes of steel which is more that the weight of the Blackpool Tower. Approximately 40 tonnes of paint will have to applied to cover an area of 100,000 square meters of steel. Each PAAMS air defence missile weighs almost as much as a small car and from launch accelerate to a speed twice that of Concorde in under 10 seconds. The missile's flight manoeuvres as it locks onto a target are so violent they are 10 times more severe than a human could withstand.

Her 152m length is equivalent to more than 16 double- decker buses and she is as high as an electricity pylon. Her onboard power plant can supply enough electricity to light a town of 80,000 people. Her fuel tanks have a volume equivalent to approximately half the volume of an Olympic swimming pool. The ship's crew will enjoy much better onboard conditions than their predecessors - including IT access, 5-Channel recreational audio, and larger berths. She contains 110 bunk beds, 26 sofa beds, 22 single beds and has her own hospital facilities complete with operating table. She is fitted with 1 bath, 44 showers, 54 toilets and 100 wash basins. She has 404 phones (mainly internal) and is fitted with enough electrical cable to circle the M25 three times.

PAAMS has been designed to match and defeat the evolving threat of attacks from sophisticated anti-ship missiles and to deal with attacks by aircraft. It can control a substantial number of missiles in the air at once, thus making it difficult for attackers to swamp the Royal Navy's air defences. PAAMS equipment carried by each ship will include a 48-cell Sylver Vertical Launching System (VLS) for Aster missiles. Also central to the PAAMS system are the highly capable SAMPSON Multi-Function Radar (MFR) for surveillance and fire control, the S1850 Long-Range Radar (LRR) for air/surface search, and the Command and Control system.

The SAMPSON family of radars combines surveillance and dedicated tracking roles into a single system. Sited high on the ship, it can detect and track attacking aircraft and missiles while providing guidance for the ship's own missiles. It supports point and area defence against current and future forecast air threats in an environment of heavy jamming and land and sea clutter. Functionality includes long- and medium-range search, surface picture and high-speed horizon search. It also performs high-angle search and track, multiple target tracking and multiple channel fire control. The S1850M Long-Range Radar provides three-dimensional long-range air surveillance and surface surveillance for PAAMS and other ship systems.

The mixture of shorter-range Aster 15 and longer-range Aster 30 missiles selected for the Type 45 are faster and more agile than the previous generation. Exceptional agility is achieved in the 'end-game' using a lateral thrust system - commonly known as PIF, PAF. The Combat Management System (CMS) enables the command team to manage and operate the combat system and achieve the ship's operational objectives. It will perform tactical picture compilation, threat evaluation, weapon assignment and control of the other combat system equipment, including PAAMS.

In addition to these priority needs, the Navy saw some other equipment as desirable and provision has been made in the ships' design for fitting this equipment to the Type 45 Destroyers in future, if the need arises. An Inner Layer Defence System is considered desirable to combat the threat from Fast Inshore Attack Craft. The First of Class will have no on-board torpedo launch capability but, as the Type 45 Destroyer will not be a dedicated Anti-Submarine Warfare platform, this is not regarded by the Navy as a critical shortfall. Provision has been made for extra helicopter launched torpedo storage. The Type 45 Destroyer's main gun armament meets some, but not all, of the Navy's requirements and is not seen as a long-term solution.

The new ship introduced standards across cabins, messes and recreational areas that are suitable for both male and female sailors, and improve considerably on current levels. With its improved accommodation and ability to perform a variety of roles, the Type 45 is designed to meet the needs of a modern Navy in a changing world, and adapt to new needs throughout the life of the class. 'Room for growth' was a key operational requirement. While the complement is around 190 crew, there is space for up to 235, allowing for the transport of specialist teams and their equipment to carry out a variety of missions - whether military, para-military or disaster relief. This also allows for the Type 45 Destroyers to fulfil other roles, such as assisting in humanitarian relief or civilian evacuation missions.

Arguably as significant a change for the Royal Navy as the move from sail to steam, the Type 45 introduced the first Integrated Electric Propulsion system. Benefits include a reduction in projected through-life costs because of lower maintenance and fuel consumption costs. The propulsion system is simpler to maintain and with no gearbox, allows for greater flexibility in ship layout. There are also improved environmental factors.

The National Gas Turbine Establishment, and subsequent organisations based at Pyestock, were involved in the testing of gas turbines for the Royal Navy from 1952 until its closure in 2000, after which the site was operated by QinetiQ. Its role was to assess the performance that could be expected of an already developed gas turbine engine and make a judgement about whether it could reach the required levels of availability, reliability and maintainability prior to introduction into service. This endurance style of testing was adapted so that it represented, as closely as possible, how the engine would operate in service.

The Pyestock facility was involved in the early developmental stages of the WR21 engine. It had a key role in the program and all of the development testing was carried out at the site. It is worth noting that to fulfil this role, a significant upgrade was made to the facilities at Pyestock, which was able to generate data from the test engine that was significantly greater in scope and volume than would have been necessary in a typical endurance testing regime. The data examined in development of the WR21 engine has been estimated at being some ten times greater than that used previously in endurance testing.

It is also worth re-stating that this system represented a significant advance in propulsion design, acting in a more integrated fashion and promising greater fuel efficiency and operational flexibility, as well as through life savings in maintenance and personnel costs, and a lower environmental impact. It is therefore difficult to draw direct comparisons between the simple gas turbines used to power surface warships historically, with the more complex intercooled and recuperated system employed on the Type 45 Destroyer.

The Type 45 has had a long history of significant engine failures. The MoD’s Power Improvement Plan is designed to rectify these problems and put an end to the reliability issues which continue to limit the availability and dependability of the Type 45. The decision in 2000 to opt for an Integrated Full Electric Propulsion system was underpinned by a development and endurance testing program totalling 8,000 hours. The decision to proceed with the program was test-supported by the MOD and industry based on a judgement by all parties that the inherent risk had been mitigated.

Clearly, there are lessons that to be learned from this, and the MOD acknowledged that, initially, the Type 45 power and propulsion system did not meet the expected levels of performance and reliability. However, through the progressive incorporation of design changes, adoption of the measures outlined in the March 2011 independent report ‘Type 45 Destroyer - Independent Power and Propulsion System Performance Review’ and the further improvements in reliability achieved through the Equipment Improvement Project, which we initiated in 2014, reliability and availability have improved and platform reliability is now at 94 per cent. As a result, the Type 45 Destroyers continue to provide a valuable contribution to UK Defence and are able to provide their world-beating air defence capability in ongoing operations involving US and French carrier strike groups.

One of the areas that the Navy had to address was the air and sea temperature in which the ships had been operating. The WR-21 gas turbines were designed in extreme hot weather conditions to “gracefully degrade” in their performance, until the point where it goes beyond the temperature at which they would operate. Operators could bring systems offline and gradually adjust the way the ship was operating. By 2016 it was found that the resilience of the diesel generators and the WR-21 in the ship at the moment was not degrading gracefully; it was degrading catastrophically.

The ships had been able to operate pretty much right up to the temperatures at which they were designed to operate. In the high summer in the high sea and air temperatures of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, they occasionally breach the operating limit and the Navy had to adjust for that. To design a ship that can operate in all conditions at all times of the year in all places would be an extremely poor value-for-money thing to do. Therefore, the Navy accepted that it would not be able to operate all the time in every place, every day of the year. But the Navy was confident that the new diesel generators will give resilience to the ships, which will mean that they can go forward and operate comfortably and effectively from here on in.

Their level of availability has gone up from about 90% to more than 94% in the years since 2010, largely due to the equipment improvement programme measures that were made. There was greater reliability in the WR-21 gas turbines, which meant that they can do what they are designed to do: provide their world-beating air defence capability in support of US and French carrier strike groups. They are delivering in the way they are meant to.

The issue has been the ability of the WR-21 gas turbine to maintain power output in line with the design intent in high air temperatures. The reduction in power output is not due to a specific fault but is an unavoidable function of air density decreasing as air temperatures rise, which adversely affects power output. This was accepted by the MOD when procuring the WR21 and does not compromise operations in the Gulf. The expectation was that the propulsion control system would manage this issue and allow power output to reduce gradually when operating for sustained periods in high temperatures. The system has not performed to the expected levels resulting in instances of total electrical failure. The Power and Propulsion system has been modified to address this problem and allow greater control of the WR21 such that the gradual reduction in power is achieved and therefore no longer results in total electrical failures. The effectiveness of the measures taken to date to improve system reliability is evidenced by the improved performance of HMS DEFENDER where, in a nine month deployment to the Gulf, not a single operational day was lost to failures of the Power and Propulsion system. The reliability and resilience of Type 45 Power and Propulsion systems are being addressed through the two strands of Project Napier: the Equipment Improvement Plan (EIP) is incorporating a series of design modifications to improve reliability and the Power Improvement Project (PIP) will improve resilience by increasing power generation capacity. The EIP is progressing well and delivering positive results, improving the reliability of the propulsion systems, and therefore improving the availability of the ships.

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Page last modified: 28-07-2018 03:39:04 ZULU