HMS Daring has flown the flag for the Royal Navy – and UK industry – at the biggest naval showcase in the Middle East.
Britain’s most advanced warship, on her maiden deployment, was joined by minehunter HMS Quorn in Qatar at the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference.
EVER wondered how a Type 45 destroyer handles in rough seas?
Well, here’s your answer.
HMS Daring punches through choppy waters in the Gulf – it’s not all sun, sun, sun in the Middle East.
Indeed, the sizeable Royal Navy presence in the region has been rather thrown about in recent weeks courtesy of the shamal, the seasonal wind which blows across Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and down the Gulf, bringing with it sand, dust and bumpy seas.
Although we have plenty of shots of Type 45 destroyers performing ‘figure of eight’ manoeuvres, high-speed turns, and generally looking steely, images of them in rougher weather are few and far between.
The lumpy Gulf sea didn’t stop photographer LA(Phot) Caroline Davies taking this sequence of images… or stop Daring and HMS Quorn, one of four Royal Navy Gulf-based minehunters, heading to Qatar for the region’s biggest naval showcase.
Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference – known generally in its shortened form, DIMDEX – is the only exhibition focused on naval forces and coastguards in the Middle East and North African region.
It attracted warships not merely from those regions, but from across the world; joining Daring and Quorn alongside were vessels from Australia, France, India, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the USA.
With Britain’s most advanced warship making her debut in the region, and at the show, Daring was considered the centrepiece of the exhibition and received visits from many British VIPs, including Fleet Commander Admiral George Zambellas. Delegates from other nations flocked to the ship too, particularly interested in the air defence radars and Sea Viper missile system.
A US Navy Sea Hawk helicopter lashed down on the flight deck of Daring during exercises in the Gulf. Picture: LA(Phot) Keith Morgan
As well as showing off the best of the RN, the two British warships were also flying the flag for United Kingdom trade and industry and also to re-enforce that the UK is at the forefront of cutting edge defence technology. The visit also strengthened the country’s defence relationship with host-nation Qatar, a long-standing partner in the region.
“DIMDEX has been a great opportunity to meet naval forces from further afield – it’s an international event that attracts a wide audience. Qatar runs a great exhibition and we were delighted to attend and show off our ship,” said Lt Cdr Amy Alexander, Daring’s weapon engineer officer.
Her ship is now approaching the half-way stage of her maiden deployment, seven months east of Suez operating under the Combined Maritime Forces on a wide-ranging maritime security – tackling piracy, smuggling, people-trafficking, terrorism and other criminal activities – as well as working with Coalition and regional allies.