Feeds

£1bn+ Royal Navy destroyer finally fires 'disgraceful' weapon

MoD, Euro armsbiz in cost/time/goodness cockup hat-trick

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The Royal Navy's new £1bn+ Type 45 destroyers, which have been in service for several years (the first is already on her second captain), have finally achieved a successful firing of their primary armament.

Aster missile launching from Type 45 destroyer. Credit: MBDA

It worked this time, honest.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced yesterday that HMS Dauntless, second of the class, has made the first firing from a Type 45 of the French-made Aster missiles with which the ships are armed. All previous trial shoots were carried out using a test barge at French facilities in the Mediterranean.

According to the MoD:

The system successfully fired an Aster 30 missile from HMS Dauntless at the MOD range in the Hebrides and hit a moving target drone.

"Both my ship's company and the equipment manufacturers have done a sterling job," commented Dauntless' captain, Richard Powell.

"This ... is the culmination of much successful co-operation between MOD and industry," added Major General Garry Robison of Naval Command Headquarters*.

It's possible to take a different view of the excellence (or lack of it) shown by the people providing the Type 45s' missile system, which was originally supposed to enter service three years ago. It is now expected to achieve full operational capability in 2011, four years behind schedule, following multiple test failures. The underlying problems, traced to production faults in the Aster missiles, are now thought to have been rectified.

Contradicting Captain Powell and General Robison somewhat, the MPs of the Public Accounts Committee last year described the progress of the project, officially known nowadays as "Sea Viper", as "disgraceful". The MPs wrote:

Although the Type 45 will enter service in 2009, it is a disgrace that it will do so without a PAAMS missile having been fired from the ship, and will not achieve full operational capability until 2011. Other equipments and capabilities which will enhance the ship's ability to conduct anti-air warfare operations will not be fitted until after the ship enters service in some cases.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.