HMS Dauntless impressed the members of other navies during a multinational exercise in the Atlantic last week to practise improving security at sea. Exercise Saharan Express, which took place off the coast of Senegal, saw military personnel from 11 nations, including France, Gambia, Senegal and Morocco, training to deal with people-trafficking, piracy, drug-smuggling and illegal fishing.
HMS Dauntless, in her first operational deployment (to the South Atlantic islands including the Falklands), was the most modern ship at Saharan Express, dwarfing the patrol vessels used by West African nations to tackle crime off their shores, and she opened her doors to some of the personnel from other countries.
The Type 45 warship, which is taking part in the 'Auriga 12' deployment, was praised by other visiting officers. French Lieutenant Guillaume Eudeline, from the helicopter carrier Tonnerre (meaning 'thunder'), said: It has been a great experience seeing this ship and the technology it has - the radar is very impressive.
I believe that the French and British navies will work together increasingly closely in the future, which can only be a good thing for both of us.”
Dauntless is the size of a cruiser rather than a destroyer, but can still reach speeds of up to 30 knots (56km/h) from a standing start in four times her length.
The Type 45s are the first warships in the world with entirely electric propulsion systems, a design which aims to make them 45% more efficient than the ships they are replacing.
Captain William Warrender, Dauntless' Commanding Officer (CO), said the exercise had shown the versatility of the ship: We have here a tremendously powerful warship but also one that can fulfil a range of tasks.
This exercise is exactly what Auriga 12 is about; we are meeting other navies, working with them to improve their capacity to work effectively, and at the same time continuing to learn more about what this class of ship can do.”
HMS Dauntless is 152m long and is the second of six Daring Class Type 45 destroyers that are replacing the Type 42 class of ship. She is also the second Type 45 to go on operational patrols - HMS Daring having left for the Gulf region in January.