IT’S getting a little crowded at Portsmouth Naval Base after HMS Duncan arrived in her home port for the first time.
The sixth and final new Type 45 destroyer built for the Royal Navy was officially handed over from shipbuilders BAE Systems yesterday.
Formed up in the ship’s hangar, her crew bellowed three cheers for their new ship after a rousing speech by their commanding officer, Commander James Stride.
Last night they spent the first night on board the destroyer as a ship’s company and are ready to start work from Monday.
Cdr Stride said: ‘I definitely think they have left the best until last, but then I am biased.
‘I would like to thank BAE Systems for all they have done to make sure Duncan is delivered here today.
‘Now, with the white ensign flying behind me, it is my honour to take ownership of HMS Duncan on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and Royal Navy.
‘We will work tirelessly to make sure this ship reaches full capability.’
After the ceremony the white ensign was raised on the ship to signify her acceptance by the Ministry of Defence.
Jennifer Osbaldestin is the Type 45 programme director at BAE Systems.
She said: ‘I was over the moon to see HMS Duncan come into Portsmouth.
‘The people of Portsmouth should be proud because workers here have been an integral part of the design and build of the Type 45s.’
HMS Duncan’s departure from the shipyard in Glasgow was delayed on Friday after a technical issue.
But she eventually left on Tuesday for the 600-mile journey to Portsmouth.
HMS Duncan is now based in Portsmouth along with her five sister ships: Daring, Dauntless, Diamond, Dragon and Defender.
As reported in The News, HMS Defender was commissioned into the fleet on Thursday.
HMS Duncan is the seventh vessel in the Royal Navy’s history to be named after the 18th century naval commander Admiral Lord Adam Duncan, who is famed for his victories at sea.
Petty Officer Wendy Fradd is a medic on board the ship.
She said: ‘I’m really proud to be serving on HMS Duncan. She is a fantastic ship.’