Royal Navy: Duchess of Edinburgh visits Portsmouth to check progress of HMS Daring regeneration programme
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Sophie Rhys-Jones, 58, met the men and women bringing HMS Daring back to life at Portsmouth Naval Base. The Duchess is the ship’s sponsor and has followed the Type-45 Destroyer’s deeds and activities since its launch on the Clyde in February 2006 – all the way to her most recent update in Portsmouth in July 2021.
The £1bn air defence warship is coming to the end of a lengthy refit and regeneration programme. Work is being carried out at her Portsmouth home and in Birkenhead, Merseyside. HMS Daring became the second ship in her class to receive upgraded engines.
The Type 45 Refit Support Group, led by Lieutenant Commander Christopher Shaw, continued her regeneration programme for frontline operations since at the naval base since the beginning of the year. Her Royal Highness arrived at Dock 14 for the morning tour on April 11 and met with Royal Navy and BAE Systems personnel.
After being adorned with full protective gear – including overalls, safety boots, helmet, glasses, gloves and a face mask – she was taken on a tour to show the progress being made to the warship. Lt Cdr Shaw said vital upgrades have been made to HMS Daring’s engine, with the second phase of the upgrade programme being completed ‘in earnest’.
‘Having recently become Senior Naval Officer to both HMS Daring and HMS Dragon, it was my honour to welcome Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh to HMS Daring as Sponsor and to demonstrate the progress made in regenerating her ship back into service,’ Lt Cdr Shaw said.
‘Following Her Royal Highness’ last visit in July 2021, Daring has undertaken the first phase of her upkeep and has successfully completed her engine and power upgrades through the Propulsion Improvement Programme conducted in Cammell Laird, Birkenhead. Since the ship’s return to Portsmouth earlier this year, the second phase to her upkeep has started in earnest with further capability upgrades taking place whilst in dock.
‘The collective efforts of the wider Defence enterprise, including DE&S, BAE Systems, wider defence industry partners and my team of Royal Navy engineers at the Refit Support Group will be looking to get Daring back to operational readiness.’