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Meet Britain’s New Capital Ship

October 27, 2009
HMS Defender was launched at the BVT yard in Glasgow on Oct. 21.

HMS Defender was launched at the BVT yard in Glasgow on Oct. 21.

I will insist the recent news of the Royal Navy scrapping plans for a second attack carrier, and canceling much of their Joint Strike Fighter order isn’t all bad, but a sign of the sea change in warfare since the Cold War. While many hopes and jobs are on the line of whether these giant carriers will even be built, this in no way reduces the power and capability of the Navy as seen by simultaneous good news of the launching of a powerful new capability for the fleet. From DefenceWeb:

Defender, the fifth of the Type 45 anti-air warfare destroyers for the Royal Navy, was successfully launched from BVT Surface Fleet’s shipyard at Govan on the Clyde on Wednesday.

Defender was launched and named by Lady Massey, wife of Vice Admiral Sir Alan Massey KCB CBE ADC, in front of over 12 000 people who flocked to the shipyard to join the celebrations for the Glasgow and Exeter affiliated ship, BAE Systems’ naval business unit, BVT Surface Fleet said in a statement.

While the nation is struggling to place new large decks in service, not the only nation suffering such difficulties acquiring giant warships, in the same time period she has successfully and quickly launched an advanced new capability with the Type 45 destroyers. This singular warship success story, equivalents to the American Aegis anti-missile ships, bring a revolutionary ability for the Royal Navy to dominate and defend against targets on land, sea, and especially in the air:

With five of the six Type 45s now in the water, BVT is over half way through the programme and is on target to deliver all six ships to the Royal Navy by the end of 2013. The first of class, HMS Daring was commissioned into service in July and will become operational in February.

Second of class Dauntless has successfully completed sea trials and BVT is on course to hand her over to the Royal Navy in December, whilst Diamond’s sea trials, which began earlier this month, are progressing well.
Dragon is undertaking machinery trials in Scotstoun, with sea trials expected to commence in summer 2010. Defender is 65% complete at launch, and units and blocks for Duncan, the final vessel, are under construction at Govan, with the first block on track to move to berth in January.

According to Harold Hutchinson at Strategypage, these New Battleships are second to none in fighting power:

The Daring-class destroyers are arguably as good as the American Arleigh Burke-class destroyers in the air-defense role…Mind you, the British ships will be very capable – and with precision-guided weapons like the Tomahawk, one doesn’t need as many sorties to shut down an airfield, or to take out a bridge. The ships are carrying more weapons than their predecessors (the Type 45 carries 48 surface-to-air missiles – compared to 22 Sea Darts in a Type 42).

Admittedly, we have had issue with these vessels in the past, notably since the first in the class, HMS Daring will go to sea without her missiles, and we also wrote:

These $1 billion (US) warships are nearly twice the size of the older Type 42, but are filled with deficiencies, most notably the lack of an anti-surface warfare weapon other than a old fashion main gun.

Neither are they equipped with any surface attack missiles like Tomahawk, as they have been geared mainly for air defense within a fleet. There is no denying however, the speed which these potentially awesome fighting vessels have been produced, and any inadequacies can be easily dealt with. Unlike the giant carriers, the entire class of 6 Type 45 destroyers are in existence today, and ready to defend its country from all nautical threats.

Type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless. Via Albion and Wikipedia Commons.

Type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless. Via Albion and Wikipedia Commons.

Feeling they should only operate within an old style carrier task force, the designers left out the essential cruise missiles and the radar to fire them. Hopefully this decision will be rethought in the near-term, as currently with US vessels of this type so armed, giving HMS Defender and her kin a more independent role suitable for her enhanced anti-missile capabilities. We see such powerful ships able to operate without the traditional air cover provided by jets in a great many roles. We recently justified such a possibility in a post titled “Aircraft Carriers Vs. the New Battleships“:

We can in fact have such a scenario, in one of handful of sea fights in the Missile Age: Unable to afford an offensive attack aircraft carrier arm and still maintain a viable fleet, the British Royal Navy in 1982 was forced to seek alternatives. Acknowledging that her small Harrier carriers could not promise complete air superiority over the Falkland Islands, she was forced to rely more on her guided missile destroyers and frigates. The outcome is well known, with the invasion force not only surviving but prevailing over the numerous Argentine aerial armada, to safely see the troops ashore, the islands safely back under Crown protection. All this occurred long before Britain built her own high tech missile warships, the Type 45, with no Aegis-like warship to guard the South Atlantic Task Force.

Rather than bemoaning the loss of a capability that was really from another era anyway, we hope our friends the British will welcome these powerful fighting ships as the dawn of a new era of seapower. Taking advantage of the force multi-pliers of the micro-chip married to the guided missile, here is a capability which threatens the domain of the manned jet, while also restoring affordability and practicality to the still mighty Royal Navy.

43 Comments leave one →
  1. - Alex 2.0 permalink
    October 30, 2009 11:48 pm

    I’m suprised at how quick T45 has been rolling off of the slips myself, although I think the original plan was to have the yards slowly building them from 2001-FSC to keep the yards perpetually open.

    – Alex.

  2. Graham Strouse permalink
    October 30, 2009 5:49 pm

    I have some concerns about the ship, but I give the British major props on at least one point. Once they got building, they pumped the Type 45s out of the yards very quickly, something America is not exactly sterling at. One of the things people forget about when it comes to build delays is that when you’re fleet (air, land, or sea) is heavily dependent on integrated electronics systems, a long build delay means that by the time your system is deployed, its systems are likely already obsolete. It seems that it’s often easier to integrate advanced modular electronics into old hulls & frames then it is to refit newer ships with ground-up integrated systems.

    New Rule for New Wars: When you’re brand new 122 million dollar fighter has a clunkier CPU then your laptop, you’re not fighting new wars. You’re playing Space Invaders on your Heads Up Display.

  3. Chuck Hill permalink
    October 30, 2009 4:37 pm

    Obviously the American designers thought the Brits were on to something because the Midway Class went even further in the directions the Brits had started. It was designed to be proof against 8″ projectiles.

  4. October 30, 2009 6:02 am

    yes I suppose the quicker to repair is useful, but thats only the case if you don’t mind chucking lives away…and obviously the americans did

    Mike on a personal note as someone who has looked at the designs of the latter classes which were cancelled; they had the armoured angled flight decks with less side armour – the deffinitely did not have the wooden decks of the essex class

    yours sincerely


  5. Mike Burleson permalink*
    October 30, 2009 4:59 am

    Graham-some drawbacks to armored decks:

    Off Okinawa, the resistance of the British carriers seemed impressive but in reality the damage they took was severe. Having the hangar inside the hull girder made the hull structure weak and the ships were deformed by comparatively minor damage. Note how quickly nearly all the armored carriers were scrapped postwar – surveys showed they had irreparable hull damage. In contrast, the Essex’s, which suffered much more severe damage, lasted for decades.

    Also this:

    The British dumped the armored deck for their last carrier designs and adopted a very Essex-like approach. It is a shame those ships didn’t get built – they were really good-looking designs.

    I am a big fan of the original Ark Royal which performed stellar service without armored decks before being sunk not by bombs, but by a torpedo. Here’s more from the same link:

    Ark Royal and Eagle were the last gasp of the British pre-war carrier design. They were effectively enlarged Implacables. By the time their design was finished (1942), the British had realized that the sacrifices they were making for the heavy protection of an internal hangar could not be justified and they went to an external hangar much along the US lines. Okinawa proved this point; although often quoted as pointing to the value of an armored deck, careful analysis does not bear this out. The British carriers never came under the weight of attack that the US carriers suffered and never took the same density of hits.

    That last statement makes sense, as you may recall the Illustrious suffered severe damage off Malta in 1941 from Stuka attacks. She was hit by 8 bombs and remarkably survived. Often shown as the value of armored decks and hangars, this in fact meant the British were without a valuable fleet unit for over a year. The armored carriers were very hard to repair, where in contrast, we see Yorktown after Coral Sea repaired in days just in time for the Battle of Midway and Enterprise suffering intense attacks off the Solomons, but constantly returning to the fight in 1942 to early 1943.

  6. Graham Strouse permalink
    October 30, 2009 2:32 am

    Regarding the Illustrious class…

    Mike, one HUGE advantage the Illustrious class had, particularly in the Pacific theater, was their armored decks. They were much more survivable then American carriers (which relied on massive BB, cruiser & destroyer AA & the excellent 5″/38 for defense). Americans could build faster, cheaper & in incredible volume. The British built for survivability. Maybe this was a reaction to the BC debacles… ;)

  7. - Alex (the new'un). permalink
    October 30, 2009 12:48 am

    To be perfectly fair, Vicky was scheduled to serve until 1975 (although after her refit in the 50s she was effectively a new ship much the same that Eagle was in the 60s [on another note Eagle was scheduled to serve until ’82, theres an alternative history Falklands war scenario.]) however, she couldn’t dodge the bullet from the penny pinchers. and British carriers in the post war era were limted in number and overworked.

  8. Chuck Hill permalink
    October 29, 2009 9:44 pm


    Don’t think anyone can argue that the Brits were not innovators in Carrier design (angled decks, hurricane bows, armored decks, mirror landing aids, the attack on the Italian Fleet at Torento, torpedo bombers, the very first carrier attack by Furious) but like everyone else they were not completely successful in looking into the future.

    Because they never had enough aircraft, always hangering their aircraft was relatively easy. They did go to a deck park with outrigger storage by the end of the war, but then they found they had insufficient fuel storage for the 52-54 planes they were carrying at that time (far fewer than the Essex). The British designers never really thought they had the option of choosing the active protection of more aircraft over passive protection.

    Think you need to do some more comparison of damage to US and British CVs. The British carriers did not actually do that much better. The armored sides kept explosions that penetrated the deck from venting and could result in serious damage. The side armor was for protection against shell fire and other than Glorious sunk by 11″ shells that she could not possibly have been armored against, this just didn’t happen (except at Samar and if they had been CVs they could have stayed out of range).

    Essex class carriers were not as vulnerable as might be assumed. None were sunk. Franklin had been hit on three previous occasions before the hit that sent her back to the US under her own power. Intrepid was also hit on four different occasions. Lexington on three different occasions. Bunker Hill was hit on two occasions. Hancock, Essex, and Wasp (CV-18) twice (on one of those Wasp took five bombs), and Bunker Hill, Randolf, and Yorktown (CV-10) once.

    As for the British carriers being more successful after the war, only one of their large war built carriers (Victorious) survived into the 1960s while most of the Essex class survived into the 1970s.

  9. October 29, 2009 7:01 pm


    the weight gain from armoured sides was a problem, when considering treaty limitations – something which Britain kept to unlike other powers – hence the british ones were often lesser than their counterparts which came from nations which played with the rules (in the case of Japan completely ignored them). However, in war time it had the advantage that against Kamikaze and divebombing from above the ships were good (against most weapons deployed against them) – they were also good when those weapons plowed into the sides of the ship.

    yes there is still a lot of discussion chuck as to who was better – however I would always say that the British went for the best comprimise they could see for their particular situation, and that the Americans did the same – I would say that the British one was perfect for them and worked really well; I am not sure whether the Americans were so happy with theirs – hence my preference for the Illustrious class – but that is my view; I will just argue very strongly with any who disagree….

    yours sincerely


  10. Chuck Hill permalink
    October 29, 2009 3:42 pm


    Armored decks were a good idea, armored hangers were not.

    It might be argued that it was the Brits who went for numbers over quality if you look at their destroyers and cruisers like the Exeter and Arethusa. Japan certainly tried for quality, although it was not reflected in their carriers.

    Still a lot of discussion about whether US or Brit carriers represented the best compromise. Not my area though.

  11. October 29, 2009 10:15 am

    no mike, what I am saying is that the british design was better – that they british ships lasted longer, fought harder, and fought very successfully in far more regions

    I am also saying it was the better design because they were actually post war far more upgradeable as well – now I know you are being very jingoistic here, and don’t want to admit that Britain the nation which beat you in the 1812 war, which involved the sacking of washington (the only nation ever to do so), but we also managed to pull a rabbit out of the bag and produce the best carrier of WWII. I am sorry – you produced lots of other things better – but ours for most the end of the war (especially in the pacific) were flying American aircraft, so that can not really be critiqued as well

    and mike, that same design root has given many branches; I am not saying the americans did not win it right, they won it their way – more numbers, lower quality; britain won it its way higher quality less numbers.

    yours sincerely


  12. Mike Burleson permalink*
    October 29, 2009 10:08 am

    Also Alex, the idea that the British Carriers in the Pacific were better, later was used by the Americans to deploy ever larger more powerful armed decks of their own (hence Mr Friedman’s advocacy), leading to our current death spiral in carrier numbers, as well as the planes to fly off their gold-plated decks.

    Turning around what the Americans said about the British after the Falklands, its sound like you are saying “sure, you Americans won the Pacific War, but you didn’t win it right, the British way”.

    These are the wrong lessons.

  13. October 29, 2009 10:05 am

    actually there was not much difference in the hangar numbers between these carriers (if you want to include deck parking that adds on about another 20/30 aircraft depending on which batch of the class you are dealing with, but the Royal Navy unlike its USN and IJN counterparts never included this in their strenght as in any rough seas they would have been wipped out)- and it was not the ships fault in their design that the RAF chose awful aircraft for the RNAS…if the navy don’t get to pick its own aircraft then trouble will always arrive as the other service will always prioritise its own needs

    The carriers could launch in fact slightly more efficiently than their american counterparts, as up until 1941 the british had a better catapult design(it recharged faster) than the Americans – up until that point when the design was handed over to the Americans….

    as for your comment about surviabilty not mattering – then you are on a highway to nothing, because if the ship is so easy to sink or put out of action that it can only turn up to fight once it is not going to be much use – and britain the same as Japan and the USA was betting on a war in the pacific – but one far away from any bases needed to massive maintenance – thus the Illustrious class were better by your own admission as that is what you are trying to discount to prove your argument

    mike just leave it – why not attack HMS Furious and her sisters, or even the current Invincible class, or the King George V class of battleships – the fact is the Illustriousclass was the last world leading vessel built by the Royal Navy – all designs subsequently have been based on it – including the American ones, so lets put it this way if their design had been better – would they have built from the British one?

    yours sincerely


  14. Mike Burleson permalink*
    October 29, 2009 9:52 am

    Without straying off topic, is there any argument that the Japanese and American carriers could deploy greater numbers of more efficient aircraft to sea, placing much more ordnance on target that the British ships? Since it is more about the weapons a ship carries than any special virtues of particular hull, and this is still true today as back then. But we would also insist that any aviation capable ship was an asset to a Navy in those dark days, especially against those who don’t possess them, as the Germans and Italians learned to their regret.

    Today we say the missile firing warship is the heir to these aircraft launching ships. Any such vessel then would be an asset to a Navy, even a necessity. Just get the weapons to sea, and you don’t need a perfect platform to get them there.

  15. October 29, 2009 9:22 am


    lets just say in about 3 years I will send you my PhD, in the meantime I recomend you read Norman Friedman’s British Carrier Aviation – an american author, but who does a very detailed examination

    yours sincerely


  16. Mike Burleson permalink*
    October 29, 2009 9:13 am

    Orginial Alex said “these carriers were a lot better than the US or Japanese ones;”

    ???????? Lets just say I stand by my original comment.

  17. October 29, 2009 7:48 am

    Mike – this is meant in all politeness but…

    I hate to dissapoint you but the Illustrious class were better than anything the americans ever even dreamed off until they saw them in action! they a) did not get put out of action at every accident, every bomb hit, every plane doing a kamikaze, b) did not operate in waters where they could run away easily (as you could in the pacific), c) operate in waters where you can deck park….

    so mike, and this I know about as it is the topic of my PhD is comparing them and the aircraft they carried…these carriers were a lot better than the US or Japanese ones; a fact reflected in that they often cost slightly more – and took longer (though about the same time as japanese) than american to be built due to the smaller industrial base of the UK versus the US and the nature of having to convoy in large amounts of food and other goods.

    The Illustrious class were in many ways along with the Leander class the last brilliant gasps of practical british naval building – they were strong enough that they could survive in the constricted waters of the mediterrean in constant threat from land bases. They were fast enough with a good enough range to operate very successfully when deployed to the pacific; and in the atlantic their aircraft were true and secured in their hangars through the toughest of storms.

    so michael next time you want to reference something as not perfect when comapared to their foreign counterparts…do not pick on this magnificent class; their aircraft were not up to standard but that was not the fault of them – and in many ways was the reason why armour and strength were chosen. Which are by the way the grandparents of almost every class produced or procured by an English Speaking Navy ever since!.

    yours sincerely


  18. Mike Burleson permalink*
    October 29, 2009 7:20 am

    Lets compare these to the Illustrious class armored carriers form WW 2. Not perfect compared to their foreign equivalents (Japan, and USA), but still with their good points, still quite effective, with much potential. And they are the future of warfare.

    They got the main thing right with the anti-missile system, without which in the new missile wars at sea you are dead.

  19. - Alex (the new'un). permalink
    October 28, 2009 7:43 pm

    T45; Something I have been watching with a keen eye for the past 20 years. (since NFR-90), T45 should never get TLAM/Storm Shadow doing such would compromise the Raison d’être of C.1 however there is no reason why they shouldn’t have Harpoon and a CIWS better than Phalanx, the project has been mismanaged and nearly ignored since project Horizon, despite Britain being the money and the power on Project Horizon(proposed 12 of 16 ships) the French and Italians forced Aster in Sylver launchers while BAe Dynamics were pushing for MK.41 or a new more flexible system(might be wrong on this, it might’ve been Sea Wolf replacement[pre-CAMM] they were looking for something new for which isn’t a bad idea for Littoral ships if you intergrate VL derrirative of FASGW(H)[Sea Skua replacement] and/or Fireshadow[feasibility of VL Fireshadow has to be taken into account]). Eventually arguments over workshare (suprise, suprise; heaven forbid that BAe and Marconi should be prime contractors) and SAMPSON gave way.

    only 48 VLS cells? There is room for 64, perhaps even 72, should the need arise, the cost of the modification need to be taken into account though.

    Never mind AB’s $1bn cost, T45’s £1bn is by far the greater travesty(well actually it’s £550m but after R&D and project delays etc are factored in the project cost £6bn)

    12 > 8 > 6; 8 is the utmost minimum that is needed to provide protection for perceived operations, 12 is probably overkill, IMO 10 is the sweet spot.

    32 Aster 30, 16 Aster 15, I’m hoping that Aster 15s will be replaced by CAMM in the future and IIRC all 6 modules are A50, so theres no reason why in a few years time T45 isn’t swanning around with as standard fit 40 Aster30s and 32 CAMM

    4.5″ Main gun, not really a problem, with only 6 units it’s highly unlikely that Darings will be providing NGS at any time.

    Lack of Stinrays isn’t major, I’d rather see them there but they’re only any use when accelerating away at full speed to a submarine giving chase. (and that’s only if the enemy is using 533mm or smaller Torpedos; against a submarine totting 650mm tubes you’re sunk in any language.

    In an ideal world Aster and CAMM would be intergrated into Mk.41, and T45 would have 64 cells, with a standard fit of 8 SM-3(T45 have the capability to deal with SM-3 esque weapons, whether it is feasible is another question), 40-48 Aster 30, 32-64 CAMM and T45 fitted with 2×4 Harpoon AShM and RAM or 35mm Millenium (At the very least Goalkeeper but most of RNs 15 units are in use so it’d require a new purchase anyway so that’s out.) and there’d be 10 bloody vessels!

    Although what’s happened was NOT the worst option, I remember hearing in the mid 80s that there’d be T42B4 with cold launched VL-SeaDart and B3 would be exensively refitted for it(and still ommiting Sea Wolf). to replace the County’s and serve until 2020.

    PS: as to names; hypothetically if tomorrow the one-eyed-wonder decides to order T45B3(following on from the 1st 2 batches of 3) as a batch of 4, Duchess, Diana, Decoy and Defiance take my fancy and I pray to god that C.1 is a new Battle class (mainly for political reasons, if the names are released early into development and later vessels are cancelled it’ll be news as opposed to T45 7&8 dropped last year and nobody blinked. It also serves well to instill a sense of national identity and pride that everyone keeps jumping up and down and claiming we’ve lost in the post colonial era (funny how nobody said anything for the first 40 odd years).

    – Alex.

  20. Anonymous permalink
    October 28, 2009 9:39 am

    “Of course the accommodation is something I could only dream of when at sea in Leanders and Type 42’s !”

    One of my lads spent most of his early sea time in T42s. I used to rib him that he should move over to submarines for better accommodation.

    The only type I slept onboard a Leander was spent with the CPO’s.

  21. Mike Burleson permalink*
    October 28, 2009 7:26 am

    Chinese curse? Here is a blessing for you:

    “I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of woes and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!”

  22. elgatoso permalink
    October 27, 2009 9:18 pm

    Yes, Chuck, for the chinese , “May you live in interesting times.”is a curse.

  23. Chuck Hill permalink
    October 27, 2009 9:00 pm

    Isn’t “May you live in exciting times.” a curse?

  24. Mike Burleson permalink*
    October 27, 2009 7:56 pm

    Jed, don’t mean to sound Pollyannish on this subject, I am just a little excited about the changes ongoing in war at sea, if we learn the right lessons. The problems you speak of are mostly birthing pains for a new era of warfare, as we try to find the right hull forms and the right strategy. The armies and air forces went through these trials, and seem to be learning the right lessons. Hopefully.

    Soon it will be the navy’s turn, and its ongoing right now. They want to refight Iraq, these non-naval powers who don’t shoot back, but more likely the next war at sea will be a shooting war. Also, the problems of smuggling and piracy need to be addressed, and our missile battleships, the cruisers, destroyers, frigates, and submarines we are using now won’t be available since they will have to stand in the gap for the rapidly declining fortunes of naval airpower.

    Exciting times, and I’m glad to be a witness. Glad you guys are here with me!

  25. Jed permalink
    October 27, 2009 7:43 pm

    Mike I can understand the positive spin you put on this article because its “small” ship versus big carrier etc, but really, the jolly old RN has been devastated by its own political masters in a way the Armada, Napoleon, the Kaiser and Hitler could only dream of……

    1. Main gun – still only 114mm / 4.5 inch – no lightweight 155mm
    2. Aster based Principle Anti-Air Missile System (PAAMS) as far as I am aware not yet actually fully tested and certified operational – so these AAW destroyers can’t shoot down seagulls
    3. No anti-ship missiles, not even “fitted for but not with…”
    4. No ship launched torpedo tubes – last ditch defence with modern subs, but they would be better than nothing !
    5. Fitted for but no with a Close In Weapon System
    6. Space for (but only space, no fittings at all) additional VLS cells for land attack
    7. As Alex already noted, there were supposed to be 12 and there is only 6 !

    Of course the accommodation is something I could only dream of when at sea in Leanders and Type 42’s !

    They could be great ships, but the sons of Nelson seem to think that trying to fight complex non-state actors in an amorphous cross border conflict in a land locked theatre is more important to UK security……

  26. October 27, 2009 7:19 pm

    its worse than sad its embarrising, in fact I recon it is criminal

    yours sincerely


  27. Chuck Hill permalink
    October 27, 2009 7:14 pm

    Alex, that’s sad.

  28. October 27, 2009 7:02 pm

    one intesting fact about the Daring class is that thanks to way the treasury cancelled the other 6 of the 12 orriginally ordered – they still paid for the 6 they did not get, the 6 batch IIs with Type41 vls… this was probablyt the first One For Two Offer ever accepted, where someone paid for two but only got one

    yours sincerely


  29. Chuck Hill permalink
    October 27, 2009 6:58 pm

    I think names are important, particularly if they echo a proud history.

    Even St Albans is better than naming ships after politicians to curry favor. At least it represents a part of the nation.

    But if they had built more Type 45s they might have used the name Dainty given to ships of both the ’30s D class and the ’50s Daring class.

  30. Chuck Hill permalink
    October 27, 2009 6:53 pm

    Four of the names, Duncan, Daring, Diamond, and Defender are from the original “D” class from the early 1930s. All of those names except Duncan were reused in the Daring class begun during the war but completed in the early ’50s, Daring, Diamond, and Defender having been sunk in 1940 and ’41. Dragon and Dauntless were D class cruisers that served from the tail end of WWI though WWII with scuttled as a breakwater 8.7.44.

  31. Anonymous permalink
    October 27, 2009 6:37 pm

    “From a purely nostalgic point of view, the ship naming committee have FINALLY picked some good names for warships!”

    I will have you know St Albans is very, very scary. ;)

  32. Mike Burleson permalink*
    October 27, 2009 6:19 pm

    Thanks for the info orginial Alex, and good to hear from you!

  33. October 27, 2009 5:36 pm


    sorry to dissapoint you the second carrier won’t be cancelled – but the RN are trying to buy UAVs so that they fly them off to suppliment the RN JSF squadrons – however the RAF is vetoing this at the moment.

    yours sincerely


  34. dalyhistory permalink
    October 27, 2009 4:07 pm

    From a purely nostalgic point of view, the ship naming committee have FINALLY picked some good names for warships! Daring, Dauntless, Diamond, Dragon, Duncan, Defender… all sound like they mean business. I know it seems peripheral when we’re taling about missiles and such, but I cant help thinking that naming our ships after furry little animals and places from the road map of Great Britain hardly instills a fighting spirit.

  35. Anonymous permalink
    October 27, 2009 3:25 pm

    “Wait, no Merlin? I thought it could carry a single Merlin? I mean if it doesnt get torpedo tubes then it should get a Merlin rather than a Lynx…right?”

    The “plan” is they will deploy with Lynx. At least that means Sea Skua.

    Which ever numpty at the Admiralty signed off our Merlins without ASM capability should be hung.

    The Americans came out of GW1 thinking “Gee we need a helo’ launched ASM like the Brits.” We Brits go the other way. What a waste of super RADAR……….

  36. B.Smitty permalink
    October 27, 2009 2:58 pm

    The Type 45s appear to be nearly pure AAW ships. They do carry a helo, hull-mounted sonar and a gun, but don’t have the robust multi-mission capability of the Burke/Tico classes.

    They won’t carry TLAM (without retrofitting Mk41 cells in place of Sylvers, or finding/building a cruise missile that will fit in A50s), don’t have a towed array, don’t presently carry any AShMs.

    As AAW ships they have some limits, relative to the Burke/Tico. They only have 48 cells and no option for quad-packed missiles (ala ESSM). They also have rotating radar arrays rather than the fixed staring array on AEGIS ships. And no BMD option (at present).

    So I find using the “battleship” term a stretch too. They are primarily AAW escorts.

  37. Matthew S permalink
    October 27, 2009 2:40 pm

    Wait, no Merlin? I thought it could carry a single Merlin? I mean if it doesnt get torpedo tubes then it should get a Merlin rather than a Lynx…right?

  38. Mike Burleson permalink*
    October 27, 2009 11:45 am

    Thats right Chuck! The British destroyer has a long and noble lineage, and now more powerful than ever!

  39. Chuck Hill permalink
    October 27, 2009 11:26 am

    The naming recalls the days when Britain used to produce a new squadron of destroyers every year, all bearing names starting with the same letter, A class through V, W, and Z class plus a few specials thrown in for good measure like the tribals.

  40. Anonymous permalink
    October 27, 2009 9:36 am

    As mentioned no CIWS. More importantly no Mk41 VLS, no Harpoon, and no Merlin……….

  41. Mike Burleson permalink*
    October 27, 2009 9:26 am

    Matthew, I would certainly lump this class in the New Battleship category, admittedly not perfect but it has great potential. Just give it a cruise missile for good measure, but the Sea Viper allows it an area control capability that is almost strategic. These are very important ships and must be reckoned with by these rising missile powers in Asia and the Middle East.

    The new warfare is all about missiles, and here is a missile battleship for the 21st Century.

  42. Matthew S. permalink
    October 27, 2009 8:45 am

    Now I dont think the Type 45 can be called a battleship. It basically has the 48 Aster missiles, 114mm cannon and 2 30 mm guns. The ship doesnt even have torpedo tubes. There is space for CIWS but none fitted. But for the RN, they just need to get new boats commissioned.


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