Type 45 Destroyer and Astute Submarine

Premier Ship Models have recently constructed two immensely impressive models for a client; one being the Type 45 Destroyer, and the other an Astute Submarine. The entire piece is incredibly unique, as they have been explicitly designed to be combined into one singular case, creating an individual unit. Pictures of both the initial draft and final piece can be found in the image gallery.

Type 45 Destroyers cost approximately £1.050 billion per ship, and this includes fees for research and development. Only six were ever constructed, but each one has almost endless possibilities. They’re built around the PAAMS air-defence system, which is largely intended to predict an air threat’s flight path, before dealing with it accordingly; whether that being a neutralisation, or evasion.

Type 45’s are also equipped with long-range radars – the SAMSPON ASEA S1850M – capable of locking onto upwards of 1,000 targets at once. It’s a similar concept to that of the Iron Dome system, which has been deployed at air bases in places such as southern Israel. For its size, it’s incredibly quick. It can reach speeds of 32 knots, which is equivalent to 37 miles per hour.

The ships are powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce WR-21 gas turbines, together with two Wärtsilä 12V200 diesel generators. They work in tandem with a pair of electronically integrated shafts with two GE Power Conversion Advanced Induction Motors and VDM2500 Drives. So, when measuring the horsepower in a linear fashion, all engines and motors produce 58,500 horsepower.

A military ship must be armed to the teeth, and the Type 45 is no exception. It’s equipped with long-range missiles, harpoon anti-ship missile launchers, an MK 8 naval gun, a pair of 30-millimetre cannons, miniguns, close-in weapon systems and even basics such as machine guns, rifles and handguns. It’s able to house a crew of up to 285 members, and the entire ship is armoured with plated Kevlar.

As previously mentioned, the Astute submarine is located beneath the Destroyer. Astute-class submarines are amongst the most technologically-advanced submarines in the world, with seven planned from 2001 up to now. Five have been completed so far, and four are presently in service with the Royal Navy. Each one cost over £1.65 billion, reflecting their quality.

In order to withstand the immense water pressure at depths of up to 980 feet, the Astute submarines need to be incredibly durable and resilient. They weigh approximately 7,400 tonnes, but when fully submerged at depth, the weight increases to 7,800 tonnes. Thick plated-armour prevents any leaks, and can endure gunfire, and even certain torpedoes and missiles.

Not only are they resilient to water-pressure and weaponry, but also time. Astute-class submarines can circumnavigate the entire globe submerged. They continuously produce their own oxygen and drinking water, and can store months’ worth of food for the 98-man crew. A Rolls-Royce PWR 2 (pressurised water reactor) powers the Astute submarines, and they are capable of travelling at a speed of 30 knots, which is equivalent to 35 miles per hour.

For such a high-value asset, these particular submarines must have a heavily-stocked armament. They are equipped with torpedoes, cruise missiles, and even heavyweight torpedoes which can bring down destroyers. A plethora of sensors and radars are also fitted, including the Thales Sonar 2076, the Atlas DESO 25 echosounder, and a pair of Thales CM010 optronic masts. These allow the submarines to premeditate certain threats and eventually neutralise them, as well as planning routes.

The client is an engineering specialist organisation, and are considered to be world-leaders in the provision of flow control solutions. They design, manufacture and service bespoke valves and actuators that can accurately control the flow of gases and liquids – particularly steam – under extreme pressures and temperatures. Their valves can be found across the globe in a wide variety of different industrial plants and processes, and they subsequently allow the production of: oil and gas, power, metals, cosmetics, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, water and sanitation, pulp and paper, ethanol and sugar and even food and beverages. Their products can also be found on a multitude of ships and submarines, demonstrating their quality and reliability.

We knew this project would be a challenge, but we were excited because it was a welcome one. Extensive research had to be made to ensure accuracy, and adjustments were made in order for us to work around restrictions created by COVID-19. However, the models were all completed on time and to an excellent degree of quality.

The models themselves were to be as accurate and realistic as possible, and to achieve said accuracy and realism, we liaised with our naval architect, as well as the client. Furthermore, extensive research was poured into the project, combing through details surrounding both the Astute submarine, and the Type 45 Destroyer. This guaranteed the authenticity of both models.

Conversing with the client frequently ensured that the entire product was made to fit their exact specifications, in terms of colour schemes, structures and measurements.

As previously mentioned, initial stages involved liaising with our naval architect, and discussing how best to arrange the structure. After this, exhaustive research was conducted to ensure the accuracy of both models, in terms of dimensions, features and their heritage.

We then made sure to convene with the client, regarding whereabouts the models would be located in their offices. This information allowed our naval architect to calculate the potential dimensions of the unit as a whole, as well as both models individually, to maximise the usability of the space.

Once these had been measured, our naval architect began rendering 3D images of what the unit as an entirety would look like, complete with the case. He then began putting together a project plan with the help of the client themselves, and our Client Relationship Manager, in order to clearly outline every stage and remain as transparent as possible.

After this was finalised, our naval architect began transferring his renders to 3D printers, and subsequently started the process of constructing the Type 45 Destroyer model, and the Astute submarine model.

The models were rendered successfully and to an excellent degree of both quality and accuracy, as shown in the images in the gallery. They were then painted and fitted within the display case, alongside the seabed structure which our naval architect also designed and installed.

Delivery and handover to the client were the final steps in the entire process, and these were carried out on time and absent of any issues.

The client was immensely pleased with the final result, happy with the quality of the models and the case, but also incredibly impressed by our transparency, and the fact that we delivered everything on time.

As with many things, COVID restrictions did serve as a slight obstacle, hindering the potential for in-person meetings and subsequent efficiency of communication, but this was something we were able to overcome due to the digitalisation of both parties.

The models currently sit in the client’s reception area, displayed proudly in their case. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the work we have carried out with this project, and the models serve as brilliant representations of the Type 45 Destroyer and the Astute submarine.

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