By Paul Parkinson
Last week saw the official launch (BBC News) of HMS Dauntless, the
second of the state-of-the-art Type 45 air defence destroyer. This
follows almost exactly a year after the launch of the first ship, HMS Daring, which is due to enter into service with the UK Royal Navy in 2009.
The Type 45 destroyer will replace the ageing Type 42 destroyers (such as HMS Gloucester which successfully performed an air defence role
in the Gulf War), and will provide significantly greater capability,
including providing close in-shore air defence cover to land forces.
Type 45 achieves these capabilities through a number of
state-of-the-art technologies: the SAMPSON Multi-Function Radar (MFR),
the sophisticated Principal Anti-Air Missile Systems (PAAMS), and
advanced sonar and countermeasures, and signature reduction technology.
(I will resist the temptation to bore you with the finer points of the
technical details, but I will recommend the following web pages on the Wikipedia, Royal Navy and Naval Technology websites).