Saturday, January 22, 2011

Type 45 goes -25˚

ALTHOUGH it's a balmy 5°C today for HMS Dauntless.

The second ship in Britain's £6bn Type 45 programme is in Norwegian waters, first Bergen, then Tromsø (200 miles inside the Arctic Circle) to conduct cold weather trials (the lucky so-and-sos in HMS Daring got the plum job of warm weather trials...).
So far, however, it's been unseasonably mild – a good few degrees above zero – and quite drizzly, but when the Arctic cold kicks in with a vengeance (which it will – temperatures below -20°C are more common), it will test Dauntless' ability to cope with the cold
According to the Type 45’s specs the air conditioning should sustain temperatures inside the hull at a very pleasant 25°C.
The exercises around Norway should also serve as a warm up (sorry) for Operational Sea Training which should be kicking in off Plymouth in a couple of weeks.
Lessons learned during Daring’s OST experience last spring have been passed on both to D33 and the FOSTies putting Dauntless through her paces.
Once through OST the destroyer’s thrown straight into a Joint Warrior exercise (the twice-yearly international war games run from Faslane) – the first 45 to take part.
Thereafter there’s a visit to Newcastle, Dauntless’ affiliated city and, post Easter leave, the ship will work up with a US carrier battlegroup (like Daring before her) for what the RN calls ‘Tier 2’ training – basically ‘super OST’, testing a ship’s ability to fight as part of a task group.
The ship’s lined up to visit the DSEi defence exhibition in London’s Docklands in September, a spot more training and a bit of maintenance, then a first deployment in early 2012.
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