Royal Navy warship heading for Yarmouth

THE Royal Navy's newest and most powerful warship is setting a course for Great Yarmouth in a prestigious “adop-tion” tipped to benefit both craft and community.

THE Royal Navy's newest and most powerful warship is setting a course for Great Yarmouth in a prestigious “adop-tion” tipped to benefit both craft and community.

Social events and pageantry are planned to cement the relationship between the world-beating air defence destroyer HMS Dauntless and the maritime-rich resort, adding a new chapter to Yarmouth's seafaring history - and giving Norfolk its only affiliated ship.

Officials this week said it was impossible

to underplay the significance of the affiliation and that the sight of the formidable new ship at “home” in the new Outer Harbour would be one that would draw people from miles around.

Robin Hodds, member services manager at Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said he hoped locals would give the ship and crew a warm welcome following a summer commissioning in Portsmouth attended by local dignitaries.

Sailing under the motto Nil Desperandum, or Never Despair, the Type 45 destroyer replacing the 1960s designed Type 42 is currently undergoing sea trials, and is the second of potential fleet of eight ordered.

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Mr Hodds said her visits would be important for both the ship and town, fostering links between the 190-strong crew and community and bringing benefits to Norfolk as a whole - all of the county's other affiliations including HMS Norfolk, Cromer and Yarmouth having been decomm-issioned.

He said the indications were that the Royal Navy would still have affiliated without the Outer Harbour, although having it was a bonus allowing it to berth rather than anchor offshore.

Laura Goodman, mayoral and civic events officer, said: “It is fantastic that the borough of Great Yarmouth has been asked to be affiliated with a brand new naval ship, and it is a great opportunity to build our maritime and civic traditions. I am really looking forward to organising civic events that will involve the whole community.”

Commodore Tim Hennessey proposed the affiliation in a letter to borough council managing director Richard Packham which said: “With a maritime history stretching back over more than 800 years it seems only fitting that Great Yarmouth should be affiliated to one of the most modern and prestigious units of the Royal Navy.”

A spokesman at Navy Command in Portsmouth, added that a relationship with Great Yarmouth and Norfolk as a whole was particularly desirable given the links with Admiral Lord Nelson and Burnham Thorpe.

The ship has already been affiliated with Newcastle where it has developed links with local schools, charities and sports teams. She is the fifth vessel to carry the Dauntless name and her prime role is air defence, protecting UK national and allied coalition forces against enemy aircraft and missiles. Technology on board is said to set new standards in air defence, making it capable of defending the ships in its company from even the most sophisticated anti-ship missiles.

Eddie Freeman, chief executive of EastPort UK said: “We are pleased to confirm that initial discussions have taken place with the Royal Navy in relation to the possible berthing of HMS Dauntless in the deep water outer harbour. Whilst details have yet to be finalised, EastPort UK are delighted to be working with the Royal Navy in conjunction with Great Yarmouth Borough Council.”

Although the borough council's cabinet has yet to formally agree to the approach from the Royal Navy it is hoped the ship will make her first appearance in port by October.

The Type 45 class is the largest and most powerful air defence destroyer ever operated by the Royal Navy.

Its main armament is the lethal Principal Anti Air Missile System (PAAMS) capable of controlling several missiles in the air at once.

Weaponry includes a main gun for shore bombardment and helicopter-launched Stingray anti-submarine torpedoes

The first to enter service was HMS Daring followed by HMS Dauntless and HMS Diamond. The next three will be Duncan, Dragon and Defender

She is 152.4m long - equal to more than 16 double-decker buses end to end

Her on-board power plant can supply enough electricity to light a town of 80,000 people

Her fuel tanks have a volume equivalent to half an Olympic-sized swimming pool

The hull structure is made of 2,800 tonnes of steel - more than the weight of Blackpool Tower

She has a 190 crew, but space for 235