|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The United Kingdom's Type 45 destroyer (also known as the D or Daring class) is an air defence destroyer programme of the Royal Navy which will replace its Type 42 destroyers. The first ship in the class, HMS Daring, was launched on 1 February 2006 and commissioned on 23 July 2009. The ships are now built by BAE Systems Surface Ships. The first three ships were assembled by BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions from partially prefabricated "blocks" built by BAE Systems itself and VT Group.
The UK originally sought to procure air defence ships as part of the eight-nation NFR-90 project and later the Horizon Common New Generation Frigate programme with France and Italy. The Type 45s take advantage of some Horizon development work and utilise the Sea Viper missile system (the SAMPSON radar variant of the Principal Anti-Air Missile System). In 2009, delivery of the ships' Aster missiles was delayed due to a failure during testing. A subsequent investigation revealed a manufacturing fault with a single batch of missiles and delivery of the Aster 30 is back on schedule.
In an "intensive attack" a single Type 45 could simultaneously track, engage and destroy more targets than five Type 42 destroyers operating together.The Daring class are the largest escorts ever built for the Royal Navy in terms of displacement. After Daring's launch on 1 February 2006 former First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West stated that it would be the Royal Navy's most capable destroyer ever, as well as the world's best air-defence ship.
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