Workers welcome job boost as Type 45s arrive in Portsmouth

HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth for the last time
Picture: Shaun Roster

RETRO: Watch the last voyage of HMS Illustrious from Portsmouth

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WORKERS responsible for supporting the navy’s new Type 45 destroyers have their work cut out for them with the arrival of the sixth ship, HMS Duncan.

And now, faced with the increased workload, the team behind the maintenance of the ships has said: ‘We’re ready.’

BAE Systems has two main arms to its Portsmouth operation, shipbuilding and maritime services.

It’s the maritime services team that is responsible for supporting the navy’s warships wherever they are in the world.

The workers are also responsible for each of the ships’ annual maintenance periods.

Tom Quaye is the head of Type 45 class output management at BAE Systems in Portsmouth.

He told The News: ‘We’re proud of what we have achieved so far.

‘It’s gone well; these are special ships.

‘We have worked hard and it’s amazing to think HMS Dragon has deployed for the first time.

‘In very short order the Type 45s are doing very important stuff.

‘It keeps us very busy and it is a really important thing for Portsmouth.

‘Type 45s are very much the future and we also need to prepare for the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers.’

He added: ‘It’s a huge challenge – but we’re not shy of a challenge.’

Last week was a busy week for the Type 45 destroyers.

HMS Dragon deployed for the first time on Monday and will now spend six months in the Middle East.

On Thursday, HMS Defender was officially commissioned into the Royal Navy’s surface fleet.

Hundreds of sailors and their families lined the jetty for the important ceremony.

And Friday saw the sixth and final Type 45 destroyer, HMS Duncan, arrive in the city for the first time.

The destroyer’s ship’s company spent their first night on the ship ready to begin work today.

The six new Royal Navy destroyers are Daring, Dauntless, Diamond, Dragon, Defender and Duncan.

The bow sections, funnels and masts of the Type 45s were made in Portsmouth and then taken to Glasgow where the ships were constructed.