News story

Final Type 45 destroyer enters service early

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

HMS Duncan, the Royal Navy's sixth Type 45 destroyer, has entered into service 4 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 now.

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 6 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.

HMS Duncan
Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan pictured during trials off Scotland (library image) [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Stu Hill, Crown copyright]

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

Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne 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 4 months early. It is testament to the improving control of projects across the armed forces and significant dedication across defence that all 6 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.