HMS Duncan to arrive in Portsmouth tomorrow

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THE sixth and final Type 45 destroyer will arrive in Portsmouth tomorrow.

HMS Duncan was due to leave Scotland for her home port on Friday last week.

HMS Duncan

HMS Duncan

But a technical hitch delayed her departure until Tuesday.

She is now making her way to Portsmouth for her first entry into her home port.

A spokesman for BAE Systems said the ship was making good progress on her journey.

She is expected to arrive in Portsmouth Harbour tomorrow morning at around 9am.

An official handover ceremony will take place later in the day.

Workers who played a part in the construction of the navy’s new Type 45 destroyers have spoken of their pride as the final ship heads for Portsmouth.

The sixth and final destroyer, HMS Duncan, pictured right, has set sail for Portsmouth for the first time and will arrive in the coming days.

From the shipbuilders in Portsmouth Naval Base to the people who put together the combat systems on board, the city has played a key part in the development of the new ships.

And those who have been involved in the project in Portsmouth are looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labour.

Steve Nicholson is the ship manager at the BAE Systems shipbuilding arm in Portsmouth.

He said: ‘I think it’s fantastic.

‘People take a lot of pride in building something like that and being involved in it.

‘The highlight for me was seeing the section I was

involved with going out of the harbour.

‘Most of us get that feeling of pride because you feel like there’s a bit of you in it.’

Workers at the defence firm’s combat systems arm in Broad Oak, Hilsea, have also worked on the Type 45 programme.

Gethin Lewis is the business change manager at BAE System’s combat systems arm.

The department deals with the computer hardware and software which makes the ship work.

Mr Lewis said Portsmouth had played a big part in designing and delivering some of the ship’s key systems.

‘There’s a real sense of pride,’ said Mr Lewis.

‘People who work here enjoy seeing the outcome of our efforts.’

Tomorrow the Spinnaker Tower will light up in the colours of the Union Jack to pay tribute to the men and women who helped build the destroyers.