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Daring Dragon Destroyer Anchors During Volvo Cork Week

13th July 2016
Daring class destroyer HMS Dragon clearly demonstrates her 'stealth' profile. The Royal Navy ship is on an anchorage visit during the Volvo Cork Week along with RFA Fort Rosalie (at Cobh) a tanker /supplier replenishment vessel of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.  Daring class destroyer HMS Dragon clearly demonstrates her 'stealth' profile. The Royal Navy ship is on an anchorage visit during the Volvo Cork Week along with RFA Fort Rosalie (at Cobh) a tanker /supplier replenishment vessel of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Credit: Royal Navy

#DaringDragon - One of the UK’s most modern Royal Navy destroyers is also on a visit to Cork Harbour, having arrived yesterday afternoon, following that of a large auxiliary replenishment tanker-supply vessel, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Type 45 ‘Daring’ Destroyer HMS Dragon (D35) displacing 8,000 tonnes is visiting as is the tanker RFA Fort Rosalie to coincide with Volvo Cork Week, hosted by the Royal Cork Yacht Club. In a new international services sailing competition, now part of Cork Week, Irish Defence Forces Team J19 yacht Joker 2 won the inaugural Beaufort Cup Fastnet Race out of 12 teams including those from the UK.

HMS Dragon which is on an anchorage call belongs to a class of six destroyers that are the backbone of the UK’s sea defence and on a worldwide basis. Primary roles are to hunt down on pirates, drug runners and submarines, in addition to defending the fleet from air attack and provide humanitarian aid after natural disasters.

RFA Fort Rosalie (A385), a Fort Class Solid Support Tanker of the Royal Auxiliary Fleet is berthed at Cobh’s deepwater berth, synonymous for cruise ships which this season sees 58 liners scheduled to call in 2016 bringing over 100,000 passengers and crew.

Likewise of RFA Fort Rosalie, the 152m long HMS Dragon is equipped with Phalanx systems, a key component in the arsenal of the navy. In addition is the principle anti-air missile, the Sea Viper which provides all-round defence. This is not just for the destroyer but for an entire naval task group and against all aerial threats some 70 miles away.

The Sea Viper can race towards its target at speeds in excess of Mach Four (over 3,000mph) using a series of tiny jets to manoeuvre, carrying out sharp turns at G forces no human could endure.

Note the ‘spinning egg’ atop the Type 45’s main mast which is a Sampson Radar that has a Combat Management System for long-range radar.

There is the Sylver missile-launching system on the destroyer's forecastle and Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles with ranges up to 20 and 75 miles respectively.

Also mounted at the forecastle is the 4.5in main gun, found on all Royal Navy's destroyers and frigates, it is the most obvious provider of punch and firepower. The gun can fire up to two dozen high explosive shells, per minute, weighing more than 40kg (80lbs) at targets more than a dozen miles away.

The range can be extended to nearly 18 miles if special extended-range shells are used.

Published in Naval Visits
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Naval Visits focuses on forthcoming courtesy visits by foreign navies from our nearest neighbours, to navies from European Union and perhaps even those navies from far-flung distant shores.

In covering these Naval Visits, the range of nationality arising from these vessels can also be broad in terms of the variety of ships docking in our ports.

The list of naval ship types is long and they perform many tasks. These naval ships can include coastal patrol vessels, mine-sweepers, mine-hunters, frigates, destroyers, amphibious dock-landing vessels, helicopter-carriers, submarine support ships and the rarer sighting of submarines.

When Naval Visits are made, it is those that are open to the public to come on board, provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate up close and personal, what these look like and what they can do and a chance to discuss with the crew.

It can make even more interesting for visitors when a flotilla arrives, particularly comprising an international fleet, adding to the sense of curiosity and adding a greater mix to the type of vessels boarded.

All of this makes Naval Visits a fascinating and intriguing insight into the role of navies from abroad, as they spend time in our ports, mostly for a weekend-long call, having completed exercises at sea.

These naval exercises can involve joint co-operation between other naval fleets off Ireland, in the approaches of the Atlantic, and way offshore of the coasts of western European countries.

In certain circumstances, Naval Visits involve vessels which are making repositioning voyages over long distances between continents, having completed a tour of duty in zones of conflict.

Joint naval fleet exercises bring an increased integration of navies within Europe and beyond. These exercises improve greater co-operation at EU level but also internationally, not just on a political front, but these exercises enable shared training skills in carrying out naval skills and also knowledge.

Naval Visits are also reciprocal, in that the Irish Naval Service, has over the decades, visited major gatherings overseas, while also carrying out specific operations on many fronts.

Ireland can, therefore, be represented through these ships that also act as floating ambassadorial platforms, supporting our national interests.

These interests are not exclusively political in terms of foreign policy, through humanitarian commitments, but are also to assist existing trade and tourism links and also develop further.

Equally important is our relationship with the Irish diaspora, and to share this sense of identity with the rest of the World.