The Countess of Wessex visited HM Naval Base Portsmouth today, meeting the engineers and logisticians working on HMS Daring, the Type 45 destroyer of which she is Sponsor.
The Type 45 Refit Support Group, led by Lt Cdr Jason Wyatt, is regenerating Daring for frontline operations and hosted Her Royal Highness during the morning’s tour of the ship and dock facilities.
The Countess has keenly followed the progress of the lead Type 45 destroyer, having launched the ship on the Clyde in 2006 and last visited while Daring was on deployment to the Black Sea in 2017.
After arriving at 14 Dock where Daring is moored, The Countess met Royal Navy and BAE Systems personnel who are supporting the refit. For her guided tour, Her Royal Highness was provided with the full protective equipment (overalls, safety boots, helmet, glasses, gloves and a face mask) needed to enter a ship under refit.
Lt Cdr Wyatt said: “As the Senior Naval Officer of HMS Daring it was an honour to reacquaint Her Royal Highness with her ship and to show her the areas and machinery being overhauled. The Countess was able to reflect on her last visit to Daring in 2017 and she was impressed by the capability improvements made to the ship while docked in Portsmouth.
“The Refit Support Group are custodians of Daring during this refit, but it is not just Royal Navy engineers who are revitalising Daring. The Countess of Wessex recognised the special efforts of the wider Defence enterprise, including the DE&S, BAE Systems and wider defence industry involved in delivering such a complex feat of engineering which will deliver Daring back to operational readiness.”
Daring’s refit has included complete overhauls of propulsion and weapon systems, refurbishment of living quarters, plus upgrades to communications, radar and her safety equipment. She will also be in the programme for a weaponry boost later this decade with the addition of Sea Ceptor air defence missiles silos in all Royal Navy destroyers.
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