Wednesday, 1 February 2006


New piece of kit was launched today. HMS Daring has had some wonderful claims made for it - during testing of the radar it was able to track all incoming and outgoing aircraft at Schipol, Heathrow, Gatwick and Charles DeGaulle - handy if EasyJet ever launch an unexpected attack. The missile system can shoot down an object the size of a cricket ball travelling at mach 3, that's faster than most West Indian bowlers I'll grant you but there has been no mention of it coping with anything slightly larger - like an incoming missile or one of Stelios's Airbus A319s attempting a sneak in under the radar. The firepower of this new Type 45 Destroyer is equal to a fleet of the Type 42 which it replaces and instead of having the old-style messes where up to 40 men lived and slept they have cabins sleeping six and each cabin has an internet connection - yes they see this as a recruitment tool too! Of course the Royal Navy have been very active in the Gulf but it's difficult to see them getting a great deal of action if Bush keeps picking on landlocked countries so I'm wondering whether he has plans for regime change in the Isle of Wight? Daring comes into service in 3 years time so there's still time to start peace talks in Ventnor!

Key to diagram
1 Flight deck to take Lynx or Merlin combat helicopter
2 Navigation radar
3 Long-range radar monitors air and surface threats
4 Communications mast
5 Small-calibre gun
6 Multi-function radar can guide ship's missiles and detect enemy ones
7 Gunfire control system
8 Vertical-launching system for short- and long-range missiles
9 Medium-calibre main gun
10 Bow sonar (under keel)
11 Sauna
12 Bar
13 Conservatory
14 Otter sanctuary
15 Multiplex cinema
16 Captain's greenhouse and allotment
17 Olympic sized swimming pool
18 B&Q Retail Centre
19 Fluffy dice (not shown but hanging from the rear-view mirror on the bridge)
20 Equestrian centre with indoor and outdoor sand schools
21 Eighteen hole golf course designed by Arnold Palmer
22 Basingstoke

3 careful considerations:

kat said...

I appreciate that we need to defend ourselves but when anyone goes on about the high cost of health care or the cost of education etc., I sort of do a rough comparison in my head re the cost of these sort of things against the cost of fighter jets, submarines, warships etc. It rather puts everything is perspective. How much does it cost to build or buy one of these warships and what is the download speed in the cabins? Is it a decent connection?

Nogbad said...

I think we need to look at the armed forces as being more than simply there to defend these shores and take part if NATO and UN activities. In real terms we need to keep up to date because having a modern, mobile Army, Navy and Air Foce is part of our contribution to the pot and gets us membership of the "big clubs" like NATO. The forces cost relatively little in the whole scheme of things though the costs go up a good deal when they start live firing in action - the cost of shells and such like is high and the oncosts of shifting men and machines and food and bullets around the world are also not inconsiderable but to be part of the developed world means that we need to contribute. You know my views on the war in Iraq and the cost in terms of lives lost or damaged goes well beyond financial terms but I still think we have a moral responsibility to have well trained and equipped services to defend us and to intervene in places that need help, the Balkans springs to mind.

This has turned into a ramble and I didn't mean it too but writing it has helped me understand what I think a good deal better so thanks for that :-)

kat said...

We sell this stuff though and whether this is always morally right or wise ............. Noooooo I'm not getting into that.