Duncan, the Royal Navy's sixth and final powerful new Type 45 destroyer, has put to sea for the first time for trials where a blend of Royal Navy, Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems personnel will put her through her paces.
Following her departure from BAE Systems’ Scotstoun shipyard in Glasgow on 31 August, Duncan quickly set about testing her speed and manoeuvrability, which will see the 7,500-tonne destroyer taken to over 30 knots (56km/h) and turning very tight figures-of-eight.
Duncan will also spend four weeks at sea trialling her power and propulsion systems as well as her highly capable weapons systems.
A second period of sea trials, set to take place later in the year, will test Duncan’s combat systems and sensors in order to ensure she joins the other Type 45s already commissioned and based in Portsmouth in pristine condition next year.
Captain Henry Duffy, Captain Surface Ships, said:
This is a significant milestone in Duncan’s programme. We wish her every success as we look forward to welcoming her to join the rest of her sister ships into the Portsmouth Flotilla next year.
Since her launch in October 2010, Duncan’s ship’s company has been steadily growing, and on the last count stood at 70.
Duncan will receive the remainder of her total complement of 191 sailors before she hoists the White Ensign at her commissioning ceremony in 2013; only then will she become HMS Duncan.
Having joined in time for Duncan’s launch, Commander Phil Game, the senior naval officer on board, has had to wait longer than any other member of the ship’s company to see the final Type 45 set sail. He said:
This day marks a real achievement for everyone involved in the build of HMS Duncan for which we can be justly proud.
I think our namesake, Admiral Duncan, would also be proud of what we, as a ship’s company, have achieved so far as we bring our ship to life, both materially and by establishing ourselves as a unit by building our team of great people.