Air Defence Destroyer (Type 45)
The Type 45 class are the largest and most powerful air defence destroyers ever operated by the Royal Navy and the largest general purpose surface warships (excluding aircraft carriers and amphibious ships) to join the fleet since World War Two cruisers.
The main armament of the class is the sophisticated and lethal Principal Anti Air Missile System (PAAMS). PAAMS equips the Type 45 to defend itself and other ships in company from attack by existing and future anti-ship missiles of all types. The Type 45 can also operate close inshore and use PAAMS to give air cover to British Forces engaged in the land battle. The system is designed to defend against supersonic, stealthy, highly manoeuvrable missiles that could use sea-skimming or steep-diving flight profiles approaching in salvoes, simultaneously from several directions.
PAAMS is capable of controlling several missiles in the air at any one time, each one of which could engage individual targets, preventing attackers from swamping the fleet's air defences. MOD oversight of the three-nation PAAMS project is provided by Type 45 Anti Air Warfare Destroyer project team members working at the joint PAAMS Project Office in Paris, from where the programme is administered.
The Type 45 will succeed the Royal Navy's long-serving Type 42 destroyers, which were designed in the 1960s and came into service between the mid 1970s and mid 1980s. The Type 42's main armament is the powerful Seadart area defence missile system, which has served the Royal Navy well on operations from the Falklands conflict to the Gulf War, but which now needs replacement. But a new type of system is now needed, and PAAMS is a fresh design with the prime role of defending ships against salvo attacks by potent anti-ship missiles that are expected to come into service in the coming decades. The Sampson radar, the associated command and control system, long-range radar, vertical launch system and the very fast and agile Aster missiles combine to create a system several orders of magnitude more powerful and effective than Seadart.
The Type 45 also has a comprehensive suite of other weapons and equipment that ensures it can be deployed on a wide range of military tasks. Equipment selected already for the class will includes a main gun for shore bombardment - currently the 4.5" Mark 8 Mod 1 weapon - and either the Merlin HM Mark1 anti-submarine helicopter or the Lynx HMA Mark 8 helicopter. These aircraft will carry Stingray anti-submarine torpedoes. The ship is also equipped with the Surface Ship Torpedo Defence System, which is being procured by the Defence Procurement Agency Torpedo Countermeasures project team. This equipment protects the Type 45 against the threat of the most advanced current and future torpedoes. The ship is also capable of embarking a force of up to 60 Royal Marine Commandos or other troops and use its aircraft and boats in support them of operations. The Type 45 is large and spacious enough to accommodate lengthened vertical launchers that could carry cruise missiles, should the requirement for a land attack capability arise.
Sampson radar Sampson is a multi-function radar which is destined for the Type 45 destroyer. It brings together the roles of surveillance and tracking into one single system, with sophisticated anti-jamming arrangement. The two array faces of the radar sit back to back in an A-frame structure that rotates up to 30rpm.
The Sampson is described as the world's most advanced radar, but BAES say that Sampson should not be viewed as the end of a journey, merely the beginning of the next stage - with potential for development and growth over future decades.
|Displacement:||c. 7,350 tonnes (deep delivery), c. 5800 tonnes (light delivery)|
|Complement:||approx. 190, space for 235, providing significantly better accommodation standards than before|
SYLVER launcher and combination of up to 48 Aster15 and Aster30 missiles.
|Sensors:||BAE SYSTEMS SAMPSON Multi-Functional Radar (MFR) (for surveillance and fire control) and the Signaal/Marconi S1850M Long Range Radar (LRR) for air/surface search.|
|Aircraft:||1 Westland Lynx HMA 3/8 or 1 Merlin EH101 HAS 1
Sea Skua anti-ship missiles
Stingray anti-submarine torpedoes
Mk 11 depth chargesMachine guns