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Royal Navy launches third and most potent Type 45 destroyer

Tuesday, November 27th 2007 - 20:00 UTC
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HMS <i>Diamond</i> HMS <i>Diamond</i>

The Royal Navy's newest and most powerful Type 45 destroyer “Diamond” was launched Tuesday from BAE's shipyard at Govan, on the Clyde, Scotland. Several thousand members of the public attended the launch, including over three thousand local school children.

The Type 45 destroyers are the larger and more powerful replacement for the existing Type 42s. The destroyer will carry the world-leading PAAMS system (Principal Anti-Air Missile System) which is capable of defending a Type 45 and ships in its company from multiple attacks by the most sophisticated anti-ship missiles. UK Minister of State for Defence Equipment and Support Baroness Taylor said "the new Type 45 Destroyers -such as Diamond- will be the most powerful destroyers ever built for the Royal Navy. "We are in the middle of the biggest shipbuilding programme for the Royal Navy decades and today's launch of Diamond demonstrates the scale of that investment. "This is an important day for the Govan shipyard, the Royal Navy, and indeed the UK, and is a tribute to the hard work of everyone involved in this project. "I look forward to following Diamond's progress through her sea trials." The First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Sir Jonathan Band underlined the versatility and range of military tasks that Diamond can address. "The Type 45 destroyers will be powerful and versatile ships, capable of undertaking a wide range of military tasks. They are based on first-class innovation and engineering, which will set new standards in air defence and will ensure that the Royal Navy remains at the forefront of the world's navies. "Today confirms the excellent progress we are making on the Type 45 programme", said Admiral Sir Jonathan Band. As well as providing air defence over a wide area, including for the future aircraft carrier, the Type 45 will be able to conduct a wide variety of other operations. They will be able to carry up to 60 Royal Marines Commandos and their equipment, support Special Forces operations, and operate a Chinook sized helicopter from the flight deck. The size of the ship will also allow accommodation standards to be better than in previous classes. Diamond was named and launched by the Lady Sponsor Mrs Suzie Johns, wife of Vice Admiral Adrian Johns CBE, the Navy's Second Sea Lord. The event was followed by an aerial search and rescue display by a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter and a firework display. This is the third Type 45 destroyer to be launched, with the two previous, Daring having successfully completed initial sea trials in August and Dauntless launched last January. Manufacture of Dragon and Defender are also underway. The Type 45 program have giver a boost to British industry currently providing 4,000 shipbuilding jobs on the Clyde, 3,600 shipbuilding jobs in Portsmouth and many more jobs at sub-contractors around the country.

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