Type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless has arrived in the Middle East to continue the Royal Navy’s unwavering fight against terrorism and piracy.
The Portsmouth-based warship will spend the next four months in the Gulf region, dividing her time between the international effort to prevent piracy and drugs trafficking and joining the carrier strike group of the USS Carl Vinson.
Commander Adrian Fryer Royal Navy, the Commanding Officer of HMS Dauntless, said: “We have been training incredibly hard for the last year to reach this transition point to UKMCC tasking and it is a credit to the determination of the men and women in HMS Dauntless to overcome any hurdle put in front of them.
“We look forward to bringing the full effect of a highly capable Type 45 destroyer into this area of operations.”
Since leaving Portsmouth between Christmas and the new year, the Type 45 destroyer has been flashing up all her systems and keeping the 200 sailors and Royal Marines on board fully trained.
They have carried out practice shoots involving her Phalanx automated Gatling gun, board and search work-outs for her Lynx helicopter and commando/Navy boarding team as well as conducting a Replenishment at Sea with the US Navy’s tanker Charles Drew.
In her role supporting the 30 nation Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), the destroyer will work alongside regional allies and other international organisation to carry out security patrols and stop criminals from using the seas for illegal activities like drug smuggling.
Dauntless will also conduct a period of time operating as a fully integrated part of the US Navy’s Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group.
Using her world-beating air defence radar and Sea Viper missile system, the Type 45 destroyer will build an accurate air surveillance picture over the whole of the Gulf and guard the aircraft carrier group against possible air attack while they patrol the Gulf and launch airstrikes against ISIL.
Commodore Keith Blount OBE Royal Navy, the UK Maritime Component Commander for the Middle East and Deputy Commander of CMF, said:“I am delighted to welcome HMS Dauntless to the region.
“Just one of several Royal Navy ships deployed to the Gulf, her arrival demonstrates the importance of the region to our nation and the value we place on the strong relationships we have built with our regional partners and allies.
“The decision to task HMS Dauntless in support of carrier strike operations against ISIL reaffirms the UK’s commitment to combat terrorism.
“The experience gained will also be invaluable to the future role of the Type 45 in protecting the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers when they enter service.”