The most important warship in a generation is ready to take her place in Royal Navy’s operational fleet after overcoming its last test in the South West.
The first of Britain’s brand new class – the Type 45 destroyers – is ready for its maiden deployment after a final spell of intensive training with the Plymouth-based Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) organisation.
HMS Daring will sail on operations in the New Year after more than four years of trials, tests and training which concluded with eight demanding weeks off Devon and Cornwall where the ship and all 180 men and women aboard were tested to the limit.
HMS Daring, the first of six cutting-edge Type 45 destroyers, has passed final training with flying colours after two months in the hands of the team from FOST, training specialists in HM Naval Base, Devonport, which prepares the entire fleet for all eventualities when deployed around the globe.
HMS Daring left operational sea training with a ‘very satisfactory’ score from the assessors – most ships generally pass the exacting workout with a ‘satisfactory’ mark.
HMS Daring commanding officer Captain Guy Robinson said: “I now have absolute confidence in my ship and her crew. I have seen them face the challenges that may be expected of a warship which could be asked to operate anywhere across the globe.
“Recent events in the Mediterranean and Middle East demonstrate just how quickly a crisis can develop. Daring’s versatility, reach and punch make her a very credible UK asset – and one that I am proud to command.”
HMS Daring carried out exercises simulating hurricane disaster relief at Bull Point at Devonport Naval Base, evacuating civilians from a worsening international crisis, dealing with terrorist attacks while alongside in the base, demonstrating the ship can cope with an attack involving biological or chemical weapons, fighting off swarms of small attack craft at sea and fending off air attacks.
HMS Daring came through her first stint with FOST in the spring of 2010, during which numerous lessons were learned about training the 45s for front-line deployments, Next year Type 45 destroyers HMS Daring, Dauntless and Diamond are all due to make their maiden deployments.