23 Jan 2007


Built in Britain: The Royal Navy's Type 45 destroyer is the world's most advanced warship and is much larger and more powerful than the navy's current destroyers

Glasgow, United Kingdom. – Over 13,000 people joined BAE Systems employees to watch the launch of Dauntless, the second of the Royal Navy’s fleet of Type 45 anti-air warfare destroyers. Dauntless was named and launched by Lady Burnell-Nugent at BAE Systems’ shipyard in Govan on the Clyde.

Speaking after the launch, BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions managing director Vic Emery said:

“The success so far that has been achieved on the Type 45 contract on the Clyde is testament to the innovation, design and engineering skills of our employees and partners.

“This, the second successful launch on the Clyde in less than 12 months, has shown the commitment we have to building the next generation of warships for the Royal Navy.”

The fleet of up to eight Type 45 anti-air warfare destroyers will, in concert with the Future Aircraft Carriers, provide the backbone of the Royal Navy’s air defences for much of the first half of the 21st century.

Each destroyer will be able to engage a large number of targets simultaneously, and defend aircraft carriers or groups of ships, such as an amphibious landing force, against the strongest future threats from the air. The vessels will contribute to worldwide maritime and joint operations in multi-threat environments, providing a specialist air warfare capability until 2040.

The ships are named HMS Daring, HMS Dauntless, HMS Diamond, HMS Dragon, HMS Defender and HMS Duncan with possibly two unnamed others.

Dauntless Facts
Facts and figures

Displacement c7350 tonnes deep displacement
Length 152.4m
Beam 21.2m
Speed 27 knots+
Range 7000 nautical miles at 18 knots

Type 45 has more than 20,000 power and data cables, stretching some 620kms. Laid end-to-end they would stretch from Glasgow to Bristol.

The ship will be 44 metres from keel to the top of the Sampson radar dome, as high as the Nelson Monument at Glasgow Green.

The ships are built in modular sections, with first steel cut on Dauntless on 26th August 2004. She is due to enter service in 2010, following the first of class Daring in 2009. The bow and mast sections are made by VT Shipbuilding in Portsmouth and transported over 500 miles to Glasgow by sea-going barge.

The Type 45 flight deck is large enough to park 20 London buses. More usefully, it is large enough to land a Chinook helicopter, although the ships will normally carry Merlin helicopters.

External communications include Internet and Video Conferencing while deployed anywhere in the world. Comprehensive internal communications including full "wirefree" communications for tasks such as fire-fighting.
The Type 45 is the first front-line warship in the world to use all-electric propulsion. What are the advantages?

More efficient because you can run the whole ship (propulsion, weapons and hotel) off a single power plant at a reasonable speed (say, 18 knots).

More flexible through-life because there is no gearbox (which is a notorious source of mechanical problems and thus lay-ups)

Fewer Installed Prime Movers
Fewer Running Prime Movers
Simpler System (No CPP or Gearbox)
Fuel efficient gas turbines
Reduced Through Life Cost
A Type 45 has a range of around 7000 nautical miles – that’s New York and back without refuelling. Compare this to a Type 42 with a range of around 4000 nautical miles.
The WR21 gas turbines, with their state-of-the-art recuperators are about the most efficient out there. Each gas turbine produces about 24 MegaWatts.
The design incorporates stealth technology to reduce the chances of it being identified – this includes the cooling of exhaust gases to reduce the infra-red signature and avoiding the use of right angles – this helps to reduce the radar signature.
Although the Type 45 is one of the most advanced warships in the world it uses many standard materials from commercial shipbuilding, this allows the maximum possible investment in the defensive systems.
The long range radar has a range of hundreds of kilometres. The multi-function radar is much lighter than previously used – this means it can be positioned much higher on the mast which increases its range. One of its main functions is to detect sea-skimming missiles and it is one of the most advanced in the world.
The principle anti-missile system can deal with multiple targets simultaneously and is the most advanced system of its kind in the world. It can identify and deal with more threats simultaneously and deploys missiles more quickly and effectively.
Aster missiles
The missiles are 20 times more maneuverable than a Formula 1 car (pulling over 60G)
Living on board
The Type 45 offers each crewmember an average of 37% more space than on previous ships with the amount of space now equivalent to the passenger space onboard commercial ferries.
Type 45 is also the first UK warship with a dedicated gym onboard.

39% increase in crew space
Officers in Single Cabins
YOs in 2 Berth Cabins
SRs in Single/2Berth Cabins
JRs in 6 Berth Cabins
Separate Fitness Centre

The graphic shows how the Royal Navy's new Type 45 destroyers are significantly larger than its older Type 42s.

And Britain's enemies will find it difficult to hit her new destroyers, and Britain itself, with missiles.