I did not know that she was visiting the City (her AIS was not turned on although this is not unusual for a Naval vessel) and was surprised to see saw her as I walked to the river front. Luckily I had my camera with me but the light was not great as the sun was quite low in the sky, the picture does however show her angled superstructure to good effect. She was preparing to leave port when I walked past and I believe she left the Mersey shortly after dark.
She is the fourth of her class and was laid down on 19 December 2005, launched on 17 November 2008 and commissioned on 20 April 2012.
Her overall length is 152.4m with a 21.2m beam and 7.4m draught and she is powered by two Rolls-Royce WR-21 Gas Turbine (28,800 shp each ) giving a maximum speed of 29 Knots and a range of 7,000 nm at 18 Knots.
Armament consists of the Sea Viper Missile System and Aster 15 and 30 missiles, 4.5 inch naval gun together with CIWS, miniguns and GPMG's.
The vessels phased array Sampson radar which has a range of 400 km enables the ship to react to and engage multiple targets. The Aster 15 missiles have a range of 30km and speed of Mach 3 whilst the Aster 30 variant has a range of 100km and with a speed of Mach 4.5 is the ships area Air Defence Missile. The 48 cell SYLVER A50 vertical launcher can be seen between the main gun and bridge.
In her hanger she has Lynx or Merlin helicopters which can be armed with Sea Skua anti-ship missiles or anti-submarine torpedoes.
This is the latest upgrade for this weapon and uses a thermal imager Automatic Acquisition Video Tracker (AAVT) and stablilisation system that allow the CIWS to engage small surface targets, slow-moving air targets, and hovering helicopters.
The rate of fire is up to 4500 rounds / min.
This type of weapon was first deployed on the USS America in 1980.