Royal Navy’s final Type 45 destroyer enters service early

HMS Duncan, the UK’s sixth Type 45 Destroyer, has entered into service with the Royal Navy four months ahead of schedule.

The ship was scheduled to enter service in early 2014, but thanks to the hard work of both the ship’s company and industry since her arrival in Portsmouth, HMS Duncan is ready to take up duties.

The 7,500 tonne vessel will now embark on a programme of trials to prepare the ship and her crew for operational deployment.

HMS Duncan is the final Type 45 to enter service with the Royal Navy. Her handover to the Fleet marks the end of a 13 year build programme with BAE Systems to deliver the six ships – Daring, Dauntless, Diamond, Dragon, Defender and Duncan.

Armed with the world-leading Sea Viper missile defence system which can neutralise threats up to 70 miles away, the Type 45s are the most powerful air defence destroyers ever used by the Royal Navy.

Measuring in at 152 metres in length, HMS Duncan and her sister ships are longer than 16 double decker buses and as tall as an electricity pylon. Her onboard power plant can supply enough electricity to light a town of 80,000 people.

The Type 45 programme has provided the Royal Navy with one of the most sophisticated and effective air defence ships available anywhere in the world.

Philip Dunne MP

Minister for Defence, Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne MP said:

“Thanks to the skill and hard work of the Commanding Officer, the Ship’s Company and their MoD and Industry partners, HMS Duncan has entered service four months early.

"It is testament to the improving control of projects across the Armed Forces and significant dedication across Defence that all six ships of the Type 45 class are now in the hands of the Royal Navy.

“The Type 45 programme has provided the Royal Navy with one of the most sophisticated and effective air defence ships available anywhere in the world.

"We expect these vessels to see decades of service protecting the UK’s interests around the world, including providing humanitarian aid as we saw recently with HMS Daring’s efforts in the Philippines.”

Commander James Stride RN, HMS Duncan’s Commanding Officer, said:

“The Ship’s Company is rightly proud to be on-board such a cutting edge warship as she becomes a fully fledged member of the operational Fleet.

“HMS Duncan joins the Royal Navy as the most advanced ship we have ever operated alongside the rest of the Type 45 class, able to operate across the globe protecting the Fleet.”

The first Type 45, HMS Daring, arrived in Portsmouth in January 2009 and has since been involved in operations across the globe. Last month the ship provided vital aid and support to the people of the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

The Type 45 Destroyers are committed around the world 365 days a year hunting pirates, drug runners or submarines and defending the Fleet from air attack.

All six Type 45s are based at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth which will also be the home to the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers.