DUNCAN arrived into her new home of Portsmouth for the first time this morning with a combined BAE Systems and Royal Navy crew. The official handover ceremony will take place on the ship’s flightdeck with the crew raising the White Ensign on the ship for the first time to signify her acceptance by the Ministry of Defence.
DUNCAN’s handover is being completed in record time since she was launched in October 2010, three months sooner than any of the previous five ships. A technical issue initially delayed her departure from the Clyde, but the BAE Systems team worked tirelessly with the Ministry of Defence to implement precautionary measures over the weekend and DUNCAN departed on Tuesday to complete her 600 mile delivery voyage.
Jennifer Osbaldestin, Type 45 Programme Director at BAE Systems, said: “We are delighted with our achievements on the sixth and final Type 45 destroyer and are honoured to hand her over to the Ministry of Defence today in Portsmouth. This is a tremendous occasion for both DUNCAN and the entire Type 45 programme. BAE Systems is proud to continue supporting the Royal Navy by providing the vital servicing needed to ensure all six ships now based in Portsmouth retain their outstanding capabilities throughout their lifetime in the fleet.”
DUNCAN is now based in HM Naval Base Portsmouth with her full class of sister ships, which are HMS DARING, HMS DAUNTLESS, HMS DIAMOND, HMS DRAGON and HMS DEFENDER. There are double celebrations on the naval base this week as HMS DEFENDER was commissioned into the fleet yesterday.
Working alongside the Royal Navy, BAE Systems coordinates all aspects of repair, maintenance and support to the Type 45 Destroyers though the Type 45 Class Output Management (COM) team who ensure the ships are available for operational requirements.
Minister for Defence, Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne said:
“The arrival of HMS Duncan in Portsmouth today marks the culmination of the Type 45 programme through which the UK shipping industry has provided the Royal Navy with a fleet of six world class destroyers. Together these vessels are a formidable force and will play an important part in allowing the Royal Navy to protect our interests wherever needed around the world.”
DUNCAN is the seventh vessel in the Royal Navy’s history to be named after the 18th Century naval commander Admiral Lord Adam Duncan who is famed for his victories at sea. The ship’s motto, secundis dubusque rectus, means ‘upright in prosperity and peril’.
The Type 45 Destroyers will provide the backbone of the UK’s naval air defences for the next 30 years and beyond. The ships 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 Type 45 Destroyer can engage a large number of targets simultaneously to 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.