DUNCAN, the sixth and final Type 45 destroyer built by BAE Systems, has set sail from the Clyde in preparation for her handover to the UK Royal Navy.
DUNCAN set off from the company’s Scotstoun yard with a combined BAE Systems and Royal Navy crew for the 600 mile journey to her new home port of Portsmouth. The departure of DUNCAN was delayed due to a technical issue and the BAE Systems team has worked tirelessly with the Ministry of Defence to complete repairs over the weekend. The team will now actively work to complete the delivery programme in record time ahead of formal handover to the Royal Navy on arrival at Portsmouth.
Jennifer Osbaldestin, Type 45 Programme Director at BAE Systems, said: “DUNCAN is an outstanding vessel and we are all extremely proud to see her begin her delivery voyage to Portsmouth. After a very successful build period she will now become the newest asset in the fleet. When the White Ensign is raised, she will be formally handed over to the Royal Navy and will join her sister ships, completing the class of highly capable and advanced Type 45 destroyers.
“Today’s achievement is the culmination 13 years’ of hard work and commitment from our employees across the UK, who have worked together with the Royal Navy to deliver the six cutting-edge destroyers. From our engineering team in Filton, to the bows, masts, combat systems and radar technology developed in the Portsmouth area and manufacture, systems integration testing and commissioning of the complete ships on the Clyde.”
DUNCAN’S Commanding Officer, James Stride, said: “HMS Duncan is a fantastic ship, offering a world-class air defence capability, and as we leave the Clyde I can reflect on the hard work from everyone involved in the build programme to get us to this significant moment. My team of Royal Navy personnel are all very keen to take full custody of the ship once she gets into Portsmouth and starts her training and trials prior to deploying around the globe, protecting our nation's interests.”
Working alongside the Royal Navy at Portsmouth Naval Base, BAE Systems also provides in-service support to all of the Type 45 destroyers, with the company’s engineers coordinating all aspects of repair, maintenance and support to improve ship availability and reduce through life support costs.
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 can 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.
Source: BAE Systems PLC (LSE: BAES.L)
Date: Mar 20, 2013