HMS Daring, the Royal Navy's newest and most advanced warship, has been formally commissioned into the fleet today in front of the ship's sponsor, Her Royal Highness the Countess of Wessex.
The Countess, who launched the Type 45 destroyer in Scotland in 2006, was principal guest at the colourful 'Christening' ceremony at Victory Jetty, Portsmouth Naval Base, today, Thursday 23 July 2009.
Hundreds of guests including Commander-In-Chief, Admiral Sir Trevor Soar, and families of the 190 ship's company attended the ceremony which was conducted by Chaplain of the Fleet The Venerable John Green.
Her Royal Highness inspected the front rank of a Guard of Honour, comprising 24 members of the ship's company, and the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines, Portsmouth.
HMS Daring's Commanding Officer, Captain Paddy McAlpine, read the Commissioning Warrant and the National Anthem was played as the ship's Jack and White Ensign were raised and the commissioning pennant was unfurled.
The ceremony also included a flypast by two Typhoon aircraft from 11 Squadron RAF which is affiliated to the ship.
Capt McAlpine said:
"It gives me immense pride to be here at this momentous occasion as the ship's Commanding Officer. HMS Daring opens a new chapter in the illustrious history of the Royal Navy.
"I am fortunate to have an excellent ship's company who are all working extremely hard to bring HMS Daring, the first of class, into service so that she may continue to contribute to the Navy's global commitments and provide air defence at a level previously unseen.
"It is difficult to imagine how much effort and behind the scenes work has gone into preparing this day and we are honoured to have Her Royal Highness here to celebrate our commissioning."
The ceremony was rounded off in traditional Royal Navy fashion with the cutting of a commissioning cake.
Performing the honour was the CO's wife, Janette, and Able Seaman Daniel Small who celebrates his 17th birthday today and is the youngest member of the ship's company.
Her Royal Highness then went on board HMS Daring for a short time before joining a reception for guests on the quayside.
The Countess of Wessex, and HMS DARING's Commanding Officer Captain Paddy McAlpine inspect the Guard of Honour
HMS Daring is the first of six Type 45 destroyers and all will be based in Portsmouth. The second, HMS Dauntless, is due to make her first entry in to Portsmouth early next year.
The Type 45 Destroyer is the largest and most powerful Air Defence Destroyer ever built for the Royal Navy. It will provide UK Defence with a world-class military capability.
The prime role of the Type 45 Destroyer will be Air Defence: protecting UK national and allied/coalition forces against enemy aircraft and missiles. It will carry the UK variant of the world-leading Principal Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS) including the UK designed Sampson multi-function radar.
This system, which has been named Sea Viper by the Royal Navy, will set new standards in Air Defence, capable of defending the Type 45 and ships in its company from multiple attacks from even the most sophisticated anti-ship missiles and aircraft.
In addition to its world class Air Defence capability, one of the Type 45's greatest assets is its versatility. The Type 45 will be able to act as a base platform for a deployable Headquarters. It is the only platform of its size in UK Defence able to do this and will result is an improvement in the UK's expeditionary capability.
The Type 45 will be able to embark up to 60 troops (over and above its own complement) and their equipment, and support them with a modern medical facility that can deliver surgical capability.
Type 45 also has a large flight deck that can accommodate helicopters up to and including the size of a Chinook. The ship can also take up to 700 people if necessary to support a civilian evacuation from war zones or natural disasters.
The Type 45 is not only a world class Anti-Air Warfare Destroyer it will also act as a multi-role, general-purpose platform, able to contribute effectively to a range of world-wide maritime and joint operations.
Source: HMS Daring is commissioned into the fleet
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