The first of the Royal Navy’s new Type 45 destroyers, Daring, entered her home port of Portsmouth for the first time at the end of January. The milestone event followed the 7,000 tons warship’s completion and successful sea trials in the hands of builders BVT Surface Fleet, which is assembling all six Type 45 destroyers at its Glasgow shipyard. The bows, funnel and mast of the Darings
are, in fact, constructed as modules at BVT’s Portsmouth facility, so, technically, it was not the first time some of the new warship had been in the Hampshire naval city. Daring’s arrival at Pompey was attended by all the usual media hoopla surrounding the advent
of a high-tech major warship that represents many years of hard works and a huge investment of taxpayers’ money. That is quite understandable. It is only right that the media should show an interest…

But, we have to ask, who are these idiots who waffle on about the Royal Navy’s new Type 45 destroyers not being needed?
What do the armchair admirals and sea blind media pundits suggest the British fleet throws at sophisticated air threats many times more serious than anything faced in either the Falklands War or Desert Storm? Snowballs? Without Daring, the Royal Navy would stray into serious threat zones naked of a critical layer in protection. Other fleets have been operating their versions of the Type 45
for some time, but the naysayers would rather British sailors and marines rely on the 1970s-era Type 42 destroyers. At £600 million apiece the Darings are expensive, but that’s partly because the UK government cut the programme in half. It is now only going to authorise construction of six Type 45s instead of the dozen that are actually needed. Despite that, £600 million for a sovereign
piece of UK territory that can be placed in international waters anywhere on the globe, and from which you can deter enemies from attacking your citizens and vital interests, as well as launch Royal Marines or provide humanitarian aid, all over a 30-year service
life, is certainly a good return on taxpayers’ money.  It compares well with the hundreds of billions potentially poured down the
drain by the UK Government in recent months in attempting to save various banks from collapse.  A Type 45 will probably outlast
your average UK bank or building society. It has been pointed out by some of the critics that what the Royal Navy really needs are multi-role warships that can handle piracy and terrorist threats - both areas Daring will work in. More of those ships existed in the Royal Navy - they’re called frigates by the way - but the current UK government has (as mentioned above) unwisely discarded
them but has yet to get on with ordering the next generation of such vessels. The idiots who attack the Type 45s would be better
off devoting their energy to demanding Prime Minister Gordon Brown gets to grips with ensuring Britain has adequate numbers of frigates as soon as possible.

• Adapted from our regular commentary spot, ‘Odin’s Eye’.

Daring arrives at her new homeport last month.

Pictured: Daring arrives at her new homeport last month.

Photo: Jonathan Eastland/AJAX.