During three weeks at sea, DUNCAN will undertake an extensive programme of trials that will include testing of her power and propulsion systems, auxiliary and domestic services.
Paul Rafferty, Type 45 Programme Director at BAE Systems, said: “This is the sixth Type 45 destroyer to embark on sea trials, but there will be no complacency in the rigour with which we will put her through her paces and prove her outstanding capabilities. Every stage in the delivery of the Type 45 destroyers brings an enormous amount of pride to those who have worked on the programme and there’s a special significance attached now that all six ships have sailed the seas.”
DUNCAN’s Commander Phil Game Royal Navy, said: “Putting to sea for the first time is a significant milestone in the early life of the ship and a tribute to the teamwork between BAE Systems, MOD and my Royal Navy personnel to get to this point”.
DUNCAN is on track to be handed over to the UK Royal Navy in the first half of next year. This follows the handover of DEFENDER, which was accepted off contract in a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base in July. DUNCAN, named after Admiral Lord Viscount Adam Duncan who commanded the Royal Navy to victory over the Dutch Fleet in the Battle of Camperdown in 1797, is affiliated with his home town of Dundee as well as Belfast.
Once handed over, DUNCAN will be based in Portsmouth where BAE Systems will continue to provide ship support alongside the MOD, Royal Navy and industry partners in the Type 45 Class Output Management Team (COM), which works as a single team to sustain the high level of availability required throughout the life of the Type 45 ships. The Type 45 COM currently provides support to all six ships in class, including the four commissioned vessels, HMS DARING, HMS DAUNTLESS, HMS DIAMOND and HMS DRAGON.
The Type 45s will provide the backbone of the UK’s naval air defences for the next 30 years and beyond. The destroyers are capable of carrying out a wide range of operations, including anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities, disaster relief work and surveillance operations as well as high intensity war fighting.
Each destroyer will be able to engage a large number of targets simultaneously, and defend aircraft carriers or groups of ships, such as an amphibious landing force, against the strongest future threats from the air. The vessels will contribute a specialist air warfare capability to worldwide maritime and joint operations.
BAE Systems, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 6YU, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384719 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 383947
24hr media hotline: + 44 (0) 7801 717739