Advanced warship ready for action
The Royal Navy's HMS Daring, said to be the most advanced warship in the world, is ready for action, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.
The Type 45 Class air defence destroyer can officially begin to play a key role in various operations around the world, a spokesman said.
Since arriving in its home base of Portsmouth in January last year, the ship has undertaken months of intensive sea trials and made its first overseas visit to Ireland.
The 7,500 tonne vessel is longer than 16 double decker buses and taller than an electricity pylon.
The ship's ability to operate a range of helicopters from its flight deck and embark up to 60 troops in addition to its own ship's company means it is a versatile asset that can support land forces and carry out humanitarian missions.
Minister for Defence Equipment Support and Technology, Peter Luff, said: "The first In Service Date for the Type 45 class is a significant achievement for both the programme and the Royal Navy. It represents the first step towards delivering the fleet of the future.
"Along with her five sister ships, Daring will set new standards in air defence and will demonstrate her wider ability across the future challenges faced by the armed forces. I have no doubt that Daring will provide sterling service throughout its life."
Captain Paddy McAlpine, the ship's Commanding Officer, said: "Daring represents a step change for the Royal Navy. Her technology and design make her an easy ship to fight with and my ability to control the airspace around the Task Force is unsurpassed."
The ship is due to undergo further operational training and capability development in preparation for its first operational deployment planned next year.