New warship links with Great Yarmouth

Liz CoatesThe Royal Navy's newest and most powerful warship is setting a course for Great Yarmouth in a prestigious 'adoption' tipped to benefit both craft and community.Liz Coates

The Royal Navy's newest and most powerful warship is setting a course for Great Yarmouth in a prestigious 'adoption' tipped to benefit both craft and community.

Officials say it is impossible to underplay the significance of the affiliation and that the sight of the formidable new ship at home in the new outer harbour would be one that would draw people from miles around.

Social events and pageantry are planned to cement the relationship between the world-beating air defence destroyer HMS Dauntless and the maritime-rich resort, adding a new chapter to Yarmouth's seafaring history - and giving Norfolk its only affiliated ship.

Robin Hodds, of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said he hoped locals would give the ship and crew a warm welcome following a summer commissioning in Portsmouth.

Sailing under the motto Nil Desperandum or Never Despair the Type 45 destroyer replacing the 1960s designed Type 42 is currently undergoing sea trials, and is the second of fleet of eight ordered.

Mr Hodds said her visits would be important for both the ship and town, fostering links between the 190-strong crew and community and bringing benefits to Norfolk as a whole - all of the county's other affiliations including HMS Norfolk, Cromer and Yarmouth having been decommissioned.

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Commodore Tim Hennessey proposed the affiliation in a letter to the council, saying: 'With a maritime history stretching back over more than 800 years it seems only fitting that Great Yarmouth should be affiliated to one of the most modern and prestigious units of the Royal Navy.'

A spokesman at Navy Command in Portsmouth, added that a relationship with Great Yarmouth and Norfolk as a whole was particularly desirable given the links with Admiral Lord Nelson and Burnham Thorpe.

It is hoped the ship will make her first appearance in port by October.

t The Evening News Do Different Do Norfolk campaign aims to encourage people to enjoy the best of Norfolk for holidays and days out.

The Type 45 class is the largest and most powerful air defence destroyer operated by the Royal Navy.

Its main armament is the Principal Anti Air Missile System capable of controlling several missiles in the air at once.

The first to enter service was HMS Daring followed by HMS Dauntless and HMS Diamond. The next three will be Duncan, Dragon and Defender

She is 152.4m long - equal to more than 16 double-decker buses end to end

Her on-board power plant can supply enough electricity to light a town of 80,000 people

Her fuel tanks have a volume equivalent to half an Olympic-sized swimming pool

The hull structure is made of 2,800 tonnes of steel - more than the weight of Blackpool Tower

She has a 190 crew, but space for 235