THE Royal Navy’s newest and most technologically advanced warship has arrived for its first visit to Tyneside.
HMS Dauntless, Newcastle’s adopted ship, sailed up the Tyne and docked at Northumbrian Quay, in North Shields, on Friday.
Its captain and crew will be treated to a special reception this weekend.
The 7,300-tonne Type 45 Destroyer has replaced the previously affiliated HMS Newcastle, which was decommissioned in 2004 after 27 years of service.
The new 152m-long vessel, built at the BAE Systems shipyard in Govan, Glasgow, is set to be commissioned into the Navy in June. Commanding officer Captain Richard Powell and his crew are set for a packed programme of events before their departure on Tuesday.
Coun Mike Cookson, the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, will welcome them and other guests to the Civic Centre for a traditional Sunday lunch.
Coun Cookson said: “It is my privilege to finally welcome HMS Dauntless to her new home and I am looking forward to meeting Captain Powell and his crew. It promises to be a great weekend.
“This city has strong historical links with the armed forces, especially the Royal Navy, and this visit comes in the same year as we mark the 200th anniversary of the death of Trafalgar hero Lord Collingwood.
“I hope the whole crew enjoy their first trip home and I’m sure they will continue to represent the city well around the world.”
A number of schools, sea and combined forces cadets and other youth groups are set to pay a visit during the weekend.
In addition, the ship’s football team will line up against a side from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, and the Dauntless rugby squad will play Morpeth in a friendly match.
Crew members have already made strong connections with Newcastle.
They have helped to raise money for Newcastle General Hospital’s children’s ward as well as the Percy Hedley Foundation. They are also now linked to Royal Grammar School and Newcastle United.
HMS Dauntless is part of the most powerful destroyer class ever built in the UK and one of the most advanced warships in the world.
It is equipped with a state-of-the-art air defence system, which can track and destroy a target the size of a cricket ball travelling three times the speed of sound.
It is designed to carry out a variety of tasks across the globe, including air defence, anti-piracy action and humanitarian aid.