HMS Dauntless was formally commissioned into the fleet today, Thursday 3 June 2010.
Hundreds of guests including families of the 190-strong ship’s company attended the colourful ‘christening’ ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base.
Principal guests were Lady Mary Burnell-Nugent, the ship’s sponsor who launched the ship at BAE Systems’ Govan shipyard in Glasgow in January 2007, the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, and Commander-in-Chief Fleet, Admiral Sir Trevor Soar.
The ceremony was conducted by the Venerable John Green, Chaplain of the Fleet.
Lady Burnell-Nugent inspected some of the crew on parade and also the Collingwood Royal Marines Band which provided musical accompaniment for the hour-long ceremony.
HMS Dauntless’ Commanding Officer, Captain Richard Powell, read out the Commissioning Warrant and the ceremony was rounded off in traditional Royal Navy fashion with the cutting of a commissioning cake.
Performing the honour were the Commanding Officers’s wife, Carolyn, and Engineering Technician Robert Clough, aged 17, who is the youngest member of the ship’s company.
Captain Powell said today was a proud moment for all on board HMS Dauntless:
The Type 45 destroyer represents the cutting-edge of air defence and propulsion technology and reflects the excellence of British manufacturing expertise delivering real operational capability.
The ship is able to deal not only with today’s threats but most importantly tomorrow’s and will be a key element of the 21st century Royal Navy.
HMS Dauntless is the second of six Type 45 destroyers being built for the Royal Navy. All will be based in Portsmouth.
The first, HMS Daring, was commissioned last July and the third, Diamond, will make her first entry into Portsmouth by the end of the year. All six are scheduled to be in service by the middle of the decade.
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 45s greatest assets is its versatility. The Type 45 will be able to act as a base platform for a deployable headquarters, from where operations can be commanded. This will result in an improvement in our expeditionary capability.
The Type 45 will also 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.
The 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 worldwide maritime and joint operations.