HMS Duncan sails for maiden deployment

HMS Duncan, the Royal Navy’s newest warship, sailed from Portsmouth today for her maiden deployment.

The Type 45 destroyer will spend nine months working with allies in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Gulf to protect allied and merchant shipping and wider British interests in the region.

HMS Duncan’s Commanding Officer, Commander Rich Atkinson, said: “I am immensely proud of the achievements of my ship’s company over the last 12 months.

“All the engineering work and successful operational training means that HMS Duncan is now the world’s most advanced air defence warship and is ready to play a key role in defending international trade, freedoms and Britain’s interests.

We’re going for nine months which is a long time to be away from family and friends.

Able Seaman Ashley Stroud

He continued, “Following significant engineering upgrades and a long period of operational sea training, HMS Duncan is ready in all respects to undertake any and all missions that she may be tasked to undertake ranging from counter piracy and disaster relief to defence engagement and high-intensity conflict.”

Able Seaman Ashley Stroud, a warfare specialist on board, said: “This is my first deployment in the Royal Navy. 

"We’re going for nine months which is a long time to be away from family and friends but I’m still excited to be representing the UK to other countries.”

HMS Duncan – the last of the Navy’s six Type 45 destroyers - was commissioned in September 2013.

The ship is armed with the highly sophisticated Sea Viper missile system able to track and engage several aircraft and missile targets at very high speed.

In addition Duncan acts as a floating base for a Royal Navy Lynx Mark 8 maritime attack helicopter which can hunt submarines and surface ships or act in a search and rescue role. 

HMS Duncan will also carry both Royal Navy and Royal Marine boarding parties which can help to counter the threat from pirates, terrorists and smugglers.

LA(PHOT) Jay Allen and LA(PHOT) Luron Wright