Britain Sending Air Defense Ship to Falklands

Well then. An already turbulent 2012 is getting even weirder ina geopolitical sense. Britain just announced that it is sending one of its most sophisticated warships, HMS Dauntless, to the Falkland Islands in March.

Not only is the pride of the Royal Navy on its way south, the Type 45 destroyer (rumor has it the 8,000-ton Type 45s have the radar signature of a fishing trawler) can demolish any gaucho pilots who dare disrupt tea time, reports the UK’s Telegraph newspaper:

Dauntless will set sail for the Falkland Islands in the coming weeks armed with a battery of missiles that could “take out all of South America’s fighter aircraft let alone Argentina’s,” according to one Navy source.

The Type 45 destroyer is the most advanced anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic ship in the world equipped with 48 Sea Viper missiles and the Sampson radar, which is more advanced than Heathrow air traffic control

The ship is in a league of its own in air defence able to track dozens of multiple targets

“It can shoot down Argentine fighters as soon as they take off from they bases,” said another Navy source. “This will give Buenos Aires serious pause for thought.”

Well then.

This comes after Argentina banned any Falklands registered ships from docking in its ports. In response, the Brits decided to send the Argentine government a message:

Admiral Lord West, the former First Sea Lord and Falklands veteran, said the Type 45 has an “amazing anti-air warfare capability.”

He also sent a warning to the Buenos Aires government. “Should there be any foolish nonsense from Argentina, Dauntless can sit just off the airfield and take down any aircraft coming in. It’s a game-changing capability.”

Hopefully, the Royal Navy can afford to send Dauntless on patrol with enough weapons to actually defend herself.

I’ve got to admit I haven’t been paying a ton of attention to the Falklands recently in light of events in Afghanistan, Iran, the European economic mess, etc. But hey, it looks like Britain and Argentina want to get all upset again over some sheep ranching territory. Right. Moving on.

Yes, I know there might be oil nearby.

  • blight


  • Copper

    I’m beginning to think the UK should let America pick their fights for them.

  • dimeck

    Margret Thatcher naked on a cold day! History does repeat itself.

    • tiger

      Lady Thatcher is not exactly Playboy material…..

  • EJ257

    Interesting Argentina should pick now to start something with GB. Now that the Royal Navy is without a deployable aircraft carrier. Do they think they have a chance this time around?

  • morty

    The Argentinians also have out dated aircraft, by the time this hppens the brits might have some f-35’s

    • dimeck

      So you predict a conflict in 2022? You’re probably right.

    • Mike

      Brits won’t have any 35’s for several years, surely not next month.

      • chris

        We allready have one!! some very nice chaps in Wilts are playing with it.

  • Tom

    Who knew the Telegraph could be such a government mouthpiece!

    “Most advance anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic ship in the world” … I seriously doubt it’s better than the latest Aegis, if for no other reason than the Aegis has had so much more development and testing time, not because the EU can’t develop something good.

    • BIWmeister

      Type 45 is very sophisticated and shares many engineering systems with the upcoming US DDX destroyer. One Type 45 has the same capability as 5 older type 42s. Should be a wake up call for Argentina that the Brits are serious about staying in the Falklands.

      • BigRick

        Hey BiW, think about this for a minute

        The type45 can only hold 48 missiles (48 cells), either Aster 15 or Aster 30, after the 4.5 in. gun and couple of (self defense) Phalanx mounts, she has no offensive weapons. So if a Argentine ship came her way all she could do is fire the 4.5 in gun

        For an 8,000 ton ship she is lightly armed and one dimensional

        The Arleigh Burke destroyers have 96 cells, the actual load out may be much higher then 96 since ESSM is quad packed, 4 to a cell.

        • blight

          Which has been the caveat of any unit. It’s tempting to pack a VLS full of anti-ship or anti-air missiles, but it makes said vessel fairly defenseless if operating alone.

        • Chuck

          The Type 45 will have 8 Harpoon missiles, but this would only really provide an anti-ship capability, as if they were used for land attack (which would be a very limited attack to say the least) they would then be defenseless to a surface ship except for their gun.

    • Chuck

      Agreed, while there are probably several features the Type 45 ships have that are excellent for anti-air/ABM warfare, the latest Burke’s far out shine them. TLAMs alone would allow the Burke to smash most Argentine aircraft even before they take off. The Burke’s also carry 96 missiles, while the Type 45 can only carry 48. Finally, the SM-2 missiles have a range of 90 miles while the Aster 32 has a range of only 65 miles. Of course, the Aster missiles shorter range would mean that it is less capable against ballistic missiles, and has not demonstrated the ability to knock down a realist ballistic missile target that I am aware of. While I can’t compare the radars on the two ships, it is hard to imagine the Sampson being significantly better than the latest Aegis variants.

    • brain0

      btw the brits have their own missiles systems that even outclass our aegis system, look up the specs uk is like a world leader in that sort of weaponry. who would have thought…

  • Rob

    This is just a routine deployment, as far as I’m aware we’ve had either a frigate or destroyer in the South Atlantic at all times since the Falklands War. It was just a matter of time until a T45 got posted there.

  • Ross

    little dig at the falklands there man. what happened to the sheep rancher’s rights? they are british, wish to remain so. they fall under british sovereignty and as such the british government are obliged to protect them, regardless of what lies under their feet.

    Argentina’s posturing is easy to predict; usually comes to the fore during elections.

    • Mike

      What do you want to bet that our communist president (who hates everything colonial e.g…… Dreams from my Father) would side with the Argentinians over Britian?

      • kim

        Communist president? Didn’t know any North Koreans followed this blog….

    • the britist bird

      you are so right mate.heck with those buggers.

  • Lightbringer

    Speaking as a Brit, I do think that a lot of this sabre rattling on both sides is unnecessary. One suspects that both UK and Argentinian Governments are playing to the dumber parts of their respective galleries with this nonsense…

  • MEK

    I think the Brits have 4 Eurofighters Typhoons stationed at the Falklands permanently (and I assume more could get there fast). I think those 4 planes could take out the entire AAF unless AAF has some new planes I have not heard of.

    But funny that they choose now where Britain is without a carrier fleet just like they did before the Falklands war (yes they quickly converted some helicopter carriers to use sea Harriers).
    But maybe one of the existing carriers that have no planes could borrow the test F-35B’s that have been built. What a PR boost that would be if the F-35B’s could be fly around the Falklands :-)

    • Mike

      More likely a lend/lease of Harriers that we just bought from them.

    • Nessuno

      4 Typhoons….

      And reality is that you’d be lucky if 3 are in flying condition at any given time, while surely a max of 2 are on any sort of alert status.

      And so without the naval air cover, Argentina need only believe they can launch an attack on the airfield before those 2 get off the ground or get in position to defend themselves. There’s a pretty decent chance they could do that, or at least convince themselves that they could do that.

      In other words, 4 typhoons is not nearly the deterrent you think it is. This new ship, thankfully, makes war much much less likely.

    • LEP1

      The Royal Navy possessed aircraft carriers equipped with RN Fleet Air Arm Sea Harriers BEFORE the 1982 Falklands War even started. These Sea Harriers had exercised in vectoring-in-flight air combat maneuvers with French Armee de l’ Air Mirage III/5s fighter aircraft prior to their deployment in the Falklands. Despite the bravery of the Argentinian Fuerza Aerea pilots, the Argentinian Dassault Mirage IIIs and Neshers (Israeli version of the Mirage III) were clearly outclassed in close air combat against the RN Sea Harriers and their pilots.

      • elizzar

        there was also a couple of factors in the harriers favour (not to try to take anything away, they were heavily outnumbered and fighting for their lives and country in a very real sense). the argentinian aircraft were at the limits of their fuel endurance so were limited in their on-station / dog-fighting time, and the harriers were freshly equipped with the brand new sidewinder missile (AIM-9L?), which by all accounts worked very well. of the three services, supposedly the argentinian airforce was the most dangerous, professional and brave that the british faced, with the navy the worse – even though an admiral had launched the invasion …

  • Nicky

    I don’t think the Argentina has the capability to take the Falklands because their military is still using the old 1980’s stuff. At the same time they don’t want to risk losing their Major Non-NATO ally status as well. Which would piss off the United states and even larger Nato community as well. I think Argentina should just do what Canada did for Saint Pierre and Miquelon that the French own and offer a truce.

  • Jarman

    I was very happy when I went home at Christmas because from my parent house at the north end of Portsmouth Harbour I could see five T45s sat in the water along side. Yes 3 or 4 of those are still being fitted out, but at £1bn a piece it’s nice to see at last that we’re getting ships that are world class. Now we just need more ships full stop


    Even if it was as good as an AEGIS ship, I wouldn’t be sending one alone anywhere. I hope they at least send a sub along with it. Maybe they should base some Typhoons in the falklands too so this ship is a little better than a sitting duck.

    • tiger

      They have a flight of Typhoons on the islands. A type 23 Frigate HMS Monrose is currently on South Atlantic patrol; Plus A ice patrol ship in Antarticia. The Army has about 1,200 troops on the ground.

  • TonyC

    The submarines will be close by, just in case this destroyer needs some backup.
    The movie Iron Lady comes out and now the Falklands are back in the headlines.
    Maybe the UK thinks Argentina needs a reminder, the oil fields off the Falklands are worth fighting for.

  • tiger

    I think it is notworthy the UK is sending HMS Dauntless just in time for Prince William’s 6-8 week tour in the Falklands. Perhaps the extra firepower is for him?

  • kim

    Somehow I always liked the Falklands conflict: No communism, no doctrine, no terrorism involved – just a good old war over a piece of land. They wanted it, we wanted it. And we got it.

  • mpower6428

    its aint about sheep. its about oil and natural gas. SUPRISE SUPRISE.

    they aint gonna do nothing, neither side.

    • SJE

      And Squid. There are huge fisheries there.

  • StJohnTheSlackest

    I doubt Admiral Lord West used the term ‘foolish nonsense’ in 1982 – the Argies sunk his ship and killed 22 of his crew. I hope that if it kicks off again the missiles on Dauntless work better than the Sea Cats did on Ardent.

    I wonder whether she has a sub escorting her as without any Harpoons installed, and with the Typhoons having no ASuW capability, she would be vulnerable to enemy shps.

  • blight

    Prince William is going down to the Falklands around this time. It might be why they are diverting an additional ship that way?

  • John Moore

    Screw u all for being so disrespectful to your most loyal ally how quickly you show your true colors.

    I say good on the UK, Argentina wants to make another show of it try it.

    And this time the USA should back there ally like the UK did for them in Iraq and afgan.

    • Tim

      Iraq was actually more powerful -militarily- than Argentina, which hasn’t fought a real war for who knows how long… and whose economy been in tatters for many years. The UK should have no problems dealing with Argentina alone.

    • Reacher

      Yeah… The US was running aerial refueling and recon missions constantly for the Brits. Americans also shelled out some bucks for the fight.

      It’s not all about physical power. What you see is what you get. What you don’t see is what bites you in the ass.

    • John McClish

      We backed our British allie in the Falklands forget the US Navy transfer to RN all aspect Sidewinder AIM-9L AAMs and KH-9 Recon.

    • Isaac Newton

      We could send a military presence southerly ways, goodness knows we can afford it. But we don’t want to one-up the Brits. They get feisty when angered.

      • Conor

        you can afford it? wtf you talking about ? 16 trillion dollars of debt and you think you can afford to do anything, thats precisely the reason why your in the situation you are in at the moment

  • Black Owl

    The British are saying: “You up for round two?”

  • Lance

    Aww while Briton thumbing its nose at Argentina is always cool one Destroyer verses over 100 planes well the destroyer can shoot down alot of planes but one of those planes could sink the destroyer.

    While politically comical its doesn’t make military sense.

    • blight

      All it takes is a golden exocet. I imagine the Royal Navy knows this rather well. As for the Argentinian Navy…?

      • DhuntAUS

        I would imagine the island has more defenses than this one ship.

      • SJE

        I imagine that the Brits have improved their technology to counter anti-ship missiles a lot, and I doubt that the Argies have updated much since the 80s.

    • Waylander

      Argie airforce has 15 fighter aircraft & about 26 strike aircraft in service, all 3rd gen 60s/70s vintage.
      Flight Typhoons & HMS Dauntless would shoot them down like pigeons.
      Also there is a TLAM armed SSN usually on patrol in the South Atlantic, and there are SAM Rapier batteries defending RAF Mount Pleasant on the Falklands.
      The UK could also reinforce the islands within 24-48 hours, eg more Typhoons, Tornado GR4s & Globemasters with a battlegroup, then a full brigade within a week.

  • rob

    im pretty sure if the faulklands was american obama would park a carrier battle group or 2 on argentinas door step.however its not so as much as we would like to wave a big stick at them we will make do with a type 45.its pressance is as much political as tactical.lets hope it along with the tomahawk equipped nuclear attack sub,4 euro figthers,and the land based defence’s can convince the argies that maybe its not worth the hassle.also there is always a few mongs that have to bring up the old my toys better then yours.please as far as aegis and t45 is concerned they are both world class systems and both operated by world class organisations!

  • Richard

    I’m a Brit, the message is clear and required, but the hype is ungentlemanly. My concern is those pesky Exocets and their replacements if there are any.

  • Martin Barrionuevo

    Hi guys, I am argentinian and believe me no one here is buying this crap. There`s no possibility of a war for two reasons; 1 this time around, unlike the Thatcher days, there`s no dictatorship to do what argentinians do not want. Back then it was a red herring, in both sides, to put some counterweight in favor of both governments when things got messy. Now it is pretty much the same thing but only the british are talking about this as they head for the collapse of the financial sector. The second reason, and most obvious, is that WE DO NOT HAVE A MILITARY THAT CAN EVEN BEGIN A FIGHT WITH HONDURAS, much less England and its allies. Our military budget is a joke and we have no infrastructure. So, no one here takes this seriously and so should you. Argentinians despite whatever crap you`ve been fed are peaceful and educated people and, except in 1982, we never had a confrontation or supported a war in any way in the XX century . I guess you cannot say the same thing about Great Britain.

    • blight

      Good to hear. It takes a military junta to wage war for populist vote-grabbing reasons to permanently taint Argentina. I forget the country’s stance on the Falklands though…

      • Martin B

        blight, Argentina´s stance when it comes to the Falklands is that it is rightfully ours and we believe that it was taken away from by the british empire and that using ONLY diplomatic means, time and the international community will support us.

    • SJE

      I think you have a short memory.

      The Brits got hosed by Peron when they nationalized all those Brit-financed and owned companies. Similar actions in other countries has been considered an act of war. The Argentinians were also not very popular for their friendship with the Nazis.

      Argentina has also had territorial disputes with all of its neighbors. Argentina and Brazil were in a fierce arms race for a long time, and there was concern that both countries would develop nukes to settle it.

      In the end, it was the collapse of the last junta, triggered by the military defeat at the hands of the UK, and continued economic decline that disabled the Argentinian appetite for war.

      So, I dispute your view that the Argentinians have been peaceful. Rather, they have been happy to push their weight around until they got their A** kicked.

  • Kski

    Most advanced anti air wrfare ship. The Type 45 is comparalble to the Ticonderoga class cruisers and Burke class destroyers.

  • Matt

    Seems like global politics is remixing the 80s… NATO bombing Libya, Brits sending ships to Falklands, etc. Though if it means America gets another Reagan, guess it’s ok hahaha

  • STemplar

    OMG! Not the dreaded Argentinian horde! Gimmee a break. Is Argentina looking for an excuse to get more of its military beat up by the UK? All I can say is there are going to start something they better make it snappy, in 6 years jolly ol England will be re-joining the carrier club in a real way and that will be the end of that.

    • tiger

      Let’s not go overboard. The UK ‘s military power while well equiped, is very small.

  • Juan Lopez






  • Falklands

    There is another weapon on the Type 45 destroyer everyone has missed out! The laser defences system!! It disables the electronics in aircraft/ships!? Was this supposed to be secret :-)

  • pallsopp42

    I wonder what the US would do if China walked into Guam and said “Thanks, we’ll take this over now – its only a small island with some palm trees and goats on it – you don’t really care do you??”

    I cannot imagine the US meekly saying “OK” lets have France and Russia broker a “peace accord”.

    Its good to see a Type 45 heading down to the Falklands.

  • Nuts

    The Argies want the Falkands back? Fine, as soon as we (Brits) get the USA back!

    • blight

      You sure you want it? NHS would explode overnight, you’d be stuck with ministers for four years and be introduced to American brand Faux News, the Tea Party and people who can see Alaska from their doorstep. You might just leave again.

  • Incitatus4Congress

    There won’t be a battle because there doesn’t have to be. Argentina will “win” the war simply by waiting us out. As other have said, the sabre-rattling is peanut gallery stuff, and admittedly it looks particularly riveting coming from a hot female premier (as opposed to just a female premier as in 1982).

    As it is, neither this British government nor the last really has any great desire to keep the Falkland’s – which oil or no we can never profit from without the consent of Argentina or Chile – beyond the fact that to release it would be a bit of a blow to the ruling party’s electoral hopes. It doesn’t provide Britain with income, and if anything it’s a drain on our strategic influence because the islands are so far removed from the theatres in which we are actively militarily engaged.

    As it is, the old school thinking about maintaining such areas for global strategic influence has largely been superseded by the US’ strategy of using diplomacy and foreign aid to pepper the planet with bases instead.

    One last comment on the outcome of an unlikely military standoff. It’s unlikely we would be going to war with Argentina so much as S. America. And where Argentina lacks a good stock of military toys, several of her neighbours are not so disadvantaged. Britain might still have the technicalogical edge, but it would be pretty heavily outnumbered in terms of serviceable units (S. America is flush with F-16s for example), a substantial number of which are not necessarily inferior; e.g. Venezuela’s ~30 SU-30s.

  • Nameless Son

    I’m thrilled that we have this cute little navy on our side, it makes for a good newscast. Richard, I agree with that the hype is overdone and unneccesary, but it makes sure that Argentina knows it’s on the global viewport.

  • Good article

  • guest

    Funny thing is – no argentinian has ever lived on the falklands.
    At no time in history have they even tried untill the recent attack.
    Every time you hear someone saying the argentinians “want the islands back”
    you have to ask how they can have back something they’ve never had.
    They have no claim whatsoever either historically or morally.
    The trouble is they are brainwashed at an early age to believe this nonesense
    about a mythical place called “malvenas” so they feel justified. Its quite sad really.

    The biggest mistake was failing to eradicate their entire forces the first time round.
    Lets hope when it kicks off again -as it certainly will- the mistake isnt repeated.

  • Robert Collins

    What we can say about Argentina is no they do not have any wars, just like in WW2 when they stayed neutral whilst the world was fighting to stop Germany and Japan. Just like Southern Ireland except for a few soldiers with decency, the Jews, disabled, Gypsies etc were being exterminated, had Hitler won they would have been dealt with in the end. Argentina never had a chance of winning the Falklands war in the first place, it was a foolish move and cost both sides lives, pointless, if the island had been Argentinian then they would have been living there already.

  • Jim Brunton

    I read that the ‘Dauntless’ has been sent there without a full compliment of various types of missiles.Surely this is crazy.A sophisticated ship like that-which is incapable of defending itself never mind the Falklands.I do not wish to be extra harsh to Me Cameron, who inherited this military cost mess from the previous Labour Govt-ie Blair and Brown.Its Britain’s latest and best warship.But without missiles-it is nothing.The only real opition now, is to send one of the latest ‘Astute’ class subs, with a huge extra ,hull module built in-with sufficient missiles to take out an entire Argentinean Fleet, plus aircraft,But he’ll need to hurry before the last ones on the building stocks completes.,No Argentinean has EVER lived on the islands, so their claims on them are farcical.And ALL residents WANT to be British.So get stuiffed Argentina.We don’t need you to cry for us.Best wishes from Australia, Jim Brunton.