HMS Daring bound for the Far East

HMS Daring
HMS Daring
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THE first of the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers is heading to sea again for a nine-month deployment.

HMS Daring is gearing up for another deployment this month which will take her ship’s company to the Far East and beyond.

The warship will stretch her sea legs on the deployment with port visits, exercises and celebrations.

She will contribute to maritime security in the Asia Pacific, and conduct science and technology trials in the Pacific.

The ship will also represent the UK in Exercise Bersama Lima, part of an annual programme of exercises in the region involving Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore.

Commander Angus Essenhigh is the commanding officer of HMS Daring and said: ‘This exciting deployment will do much to build on existing alliances, establish and strengthen new relationships and contribute to maritime security in the Asia Pacific, a region in which Britain has historic trade and security links.

‘We will also remain ready to react to contingent operations should they arise.’

HMS Daring and her 190-strong crew will also take part in celebrations marking the 100th 
anniversary of the Royal Australian Navy.

In between all of these events will be a series of port visits.

HMS Daring left for her maiden deployment in January last year.

As reported in The News, she played a major role co-ordinating dozens of strike sorties in Afghanistan alongside the US Navy during her first operational time at sea.

The 7,500-tonne warship, which is the first of six new Type 45s built for the navy by BAE Systems, boasts the latest in maritime technology and is billed as the Royal Navy’s largest and most powerful destroyer ever.

Her prime role is air defence and her state-of-the-art radar systems can track all flights in a 200-mile radius.

She also packs the new Sea Viper missiles which can hit multiple targets at the same time and knock them out of the sky from up to 70 miles away.

The ship is due to leave Portsmouth on May 27.

The six Type 45s, all of which are based in Portsmouth, are due to serve until 2040.

Elsewhere, HMS Dragon is in the middle of her maiden deployment to the Middle East.

Six ships and more than 600 sailors of the Royal Navy have been taking part in a fortnight-long test of their minehunting capabilities in the Gulf region.

Portsmouth-based minehunters HMS Quorn and HMS Atherstone have been taking part in the exercise along with HMS Dragon.

Its aim is to show that mines pose a real and present danger to the safe passage of shipping in the region.

A recent demonstration was in 2011 off the coast of Libya, where pro-Gaddafi forces tried to block the port of Misrata with mines, which Portsmouth-based minehunter HMS Brocklesby found and dealt with.

Commodore Simon Ancona leads the International Maritime Exercise Force. He said: ‘Mine countermeasures are about the freedom of the seas, the arteries along which the life blood of global commerce and energy flows.’