THE Royal Navy’s sixth and final new Type 45 destroyer is preparing to sail to Portsmouth for the first time.
HMS Duncan has been built by BAE Systems at its Scotstoun shipyard in Glasgow.
Workers there are preparing to say farewell to the last in the line of new destroyers, which will all be based in Portsmouth.
Today The News was invited on an exclusive tour of the 8,000-tonne warship ahead of the first journey to her new home port of Portsmouth.
She will sail from Glasgow on Friday before arriving in the city on Wednesday for an official handover ceremony.
Commander James Stride, the ship’s commanding officer, told The News: ‘I’m very excited.
‘It’s a great honour to take command of a ship and particularly a brand new Type 45 destroyer. I’m looking forward to sailing in to Portsmouth for the first time.
‘It will be a big moment.
‘I’m looking forward to getting the ship and its crew ready for deployments.’
HMS Duncan is the seventh Royal Navy ship to be named after Scottish Admiral Adam Duncan, but this destroyer has more than a few individual attributes.
Throughout the messes, control rooms and wardroom, a specially-commissioned tartan design adorns the ship’s walls and seating areas.
Jennifer Osbaldestin is the Type 45 project director for BAE Systems.
She said: ‘There is obviously a tinge of sadness among the workers here but that is far outweighed by our pride.
‘They are fantastic ships.
‘We have ripped up the rule book and completely redesigned destroyers with these Type 45s.
‘One of my favourite moments is when you bring the ship’s company on board for the first time and their reaction when they see it all for the first time is just awe.
‘She will be missed up here, but the people of Portsmouth have something to look forward to.’
HMS Duncan is the sixth in the line of Type 45 destroyers after Daring, Dauntless, Diamond, Dragon and Defender.
The first Type 45, HMS Daring, entered Portsmouth for the first time in 2009.
They are the largest and most powerful destroyers ever built for the Royal Navy.