Monster Machines: Britain's New $1.5b Battleship Is A 152m Mobile Missile Shield

With all the iPhone 5 hoopla lately, you might not have heard the news: Israel and Iran are fixing for a fight that could wipe both countries off the map. Western allies have already dispatched a flotilla of warships to the region to guard the Straight of Hormuz -- among them is the brand new HMS Diamond. This floating missile shield is the UK Royal Navy's most capable destroyer ever.

The Diamond is the newest member of the Royal Navy's Daring class of Type 45 air defence destroyers. The Type 45 has been commissioned to replace the navy's older Type 42's, scheduled to retire at the end of 2013, after being in service since the 1970s. All six ships in the new D-class are built by BAE systems. The HMS Diamond, the most recent, began service at the end of 2011. The ships are based in Portsmouth and are expected to remain in service until 2040.

Displacing 7000 tonnes, the 152m long Type 45 dwarfs the Type 42's and their puny 5000 tonnes. In fact, the D-class is the largest escort ship ever commissioned by the UK Royal Navy in terms of displacement. To get all that ship moving, the HMS Diamond relies on a pair of WR-21 advanced cycle modular gas turbine engines and two Wärtsilä 12V200 diesel generators that will allow the huge ship to top 30 knots at full speed or about 17 knots under all-electric propulsion. Conversely, the turbines are also outfitted with intercooler and recuperator (ICR) heat exchangers to help reduce the amount of fuel that each 25MW engine consumes.

Staffed by a crew of 190, plus a Royal Marine contingent of 60, the HMS Diamond is charged with providing air defence for the surrounding fleet -- swatting incoming missile threats out of the sky from up to 113km away using Sea Viper interceptors and its long-range, wide-area sensor suite. Even under the "massive volume of missiles" that Iranian General Mohammad Ali Jafari is threatening, the Daring class is capable of simultaneously tracking and engaging more incoming threats than five of its predecessors combined thanks to its Principal Anti Air Missile System (PAAMS).

The PAAMS utilises 48 Aster 30 anti-aircraft missiles as well as another 48 of its big brother, the Aster 15. These interceptors are incredibly agile, capable of sustaining 50 and 62 g turns, respectively and can be launched in large numbers to knock down incoming missile salvos. The HMS Diamond can be equipped with the Raytheon Phalanx system for short-range defence as well as support Stingray torpedo-armed Lynx HMA 8 helicopters. And in the event that something on shore needs to be blown to smithereens, the Diamond is outfitted with a 114mm cannon (that's 4.5 inches of "no, screw you") as well as a pair of 30mm guns, a pair of miniguns and another half dozen general purpose machine guns.

But before the HMS Diamond can destroy incoming threats, it first needs to see them. That's why the destroyer relies on the BAE Systems Insyte long-range D-band radar and Raytheon's IFF system to differentiate friend from foe. The Type 45 can defend against subsurface threats as well. The class has been outfitted with a surface ship torpedo defence (SSTD) system, the MFS 7000 bow-mounted sonar, which provides automatic warnings, decoy deployment and tactical manoeuvre advice when it detects incoming torpedoes.

[Naval Technology - Wikipedia - UK Royal Navy - Navy Photos - Telegraph]

Photo: BAE Systems


    I thought the poms were broke at the moment? Looks like they're using the Yank financial system now.!

      BAE systems is not an american company mate so check your facts yea!!

    The only recent statement that Iran has made is to defend itself if attacked. Is this the justification the US needs to move its military axis might into the region?

      O M G . . . .

      'wipe Israel off the map'

      does that statement not sound familair?

      You mean repeatedly stated that their nations sole goal is to completely annihilate Israel? Defend itself, sure.

      You do know that the statement about wiping out Israel was a misrepresentation/mistranslation by the western media of what was said (which was something like "zionism is nothing more than a blip in human history")?

        No, it's not a mistranslation - at least according to my Iranian wife, who is also a professional translator. And last time I checked, she didn't work for the western media. Ahmadinejad is on record as having said it. Khomeni is on record as having said it.
        The Iranians are so obsessed with Israel that on the inside cover of Iranian passports, it says - in English and Farsi - "This document is not valid for travel to the occupied Palestine". By which they mean Israel. Another example: immediately after a massive earthquake in Bam (I think) a few years back, the Iranian authorities stated they'd accept international assistance (especially search and rescue teams) from all countries except Israel. So obsessed that politics, ideology and religion outweighed saving people's lives.

        It was said at the annual Jewish Conference in Tehran - there's no one and I mean NO ONE who hate Israel more than the original Jews, who can only be found in India, Pakistan, China, Syria and Iran. I've met a few and they are simply the nicest and most educated people I have ever met, except that they hate Israel :)
        The world is a REALLY complicated place

    What's being broke got to do with it? They're building 6 of these ships, 2 aircraft carriers $10 billion each, with aircraft, another 20 billion; 7 Astutes - (nuclear hunter killer subs) 2 billion each, and planning 4 new nuclear ballistic missile subs for around $30 billion; 13 new frigates half a billion each and a bunch of cheaper patrol ships. And that's not to mention the new Typhoon fighters and a ton more helicopters. It's easy to print enough money for the programme.

    Hits iceberg. Sinks. They weren't expecting one in Straights of Hormuz.


    Just wanted to say I actually enjoyed reading this article this morning, very informative.
    I would like to see more information based articles like this more often.
    (except for the iPhone 5 comment :-p )


    I originally wanted to ask what the range was when she runs on all-electric, but then I wondered why on earth an escort would have an all-electric drive in the first place. What's the point of reducing a surface vessel's acoustic signature?

      If you read the article you'll see that one mode is fast and the other is slower, it comes down to fuel efficiency.

        Thanks, Noddy. I did read it, but normally the purpose of an electric/diesel hybrid on a naval vessel is to reduce it's visibility to passove sonar readings, which is somewhat pointless on a surface vessel, since most of the noise it generates is hydrophonic from the sound of sending up splashes of water. Given the large tonnage and displacement, the hyrdophonic noise even at 16 knots would be significant.

        Doing some research on it, it seems the purpose is to reduce engine wear - and thereby reduce maintenance requirements - and also reduce emissions. So even the RN's warship program is working on lowering greenhouse gases!

      What's the point of reducing a surface ship's acoustic signature?
      It's so you can creep up on submarines and Rick Roll them.

      look up the Prairie/Masker System.

    If Iran wants to terrorize the world and threaten to annihilate Israel, I say simply, bring it on. The Jews learned (if nothing else) after the second world war how to survive and defend themselves. The Arabs have tried to "wipe Israel off the map" in 4 Arab-Israeli wars and lost each time.
    PS Israel is still the only country in the middle east to uphold equal human rights for all and not kill their own people.

    PPS sweet boat.

      equal human rights for all and not kill their own people.

      Yeah, that's what Palestinians are for. Their track record is pretty damning, unless human rights don't count the right to live in a house.

    The title is wrong, a Battleship is a specific class of ship. You mean "Warship".
    A Battleship has giant guns on it and massive armour and no one has built a new one since the 1940s...
    It's like calling a toyata ute a "Mac Truck". Not smart.

    Anyway, I doubt this would be that effective in practise, especially against a "massive volume of missiles".

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