Navy’s newest warship HMS Duncan sets off on maiden mission

Leading WEM Phil Phillips, from Fareham, waves to his wife, Lynne, in the crowd as HMS Liverpool returns home after seven months on duty

THIS WEEK IN 1997: Volcano veteran back with a bang

  • HMS Duncan heads for Mediterranean, Middle East and Gulf
  • Families pack the Round Tower to wave goodbye to their loved ones
  • Warship is last in line of six new Type 45 destroyers to go to sea on maiden voyage
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THE newest addition to the Royal Navy’s fleet set sail on her first ever deployment today.

HMS Duncan is going to spend nine months working with allied nations in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Gulf to protect merchant shipping.

She is the last of the navy’s six new Type 45 destroyers and the latest to head to sea on her maiden mission.

Commander Rich Atkinson, HMS Duncan’s commanding officer, said: ‘I am immensely proud of the achievements of my ship’s company over the last 12 months.

‘All the engineering work and successful operational training means HMS Duncan is now the world’s most advanced air defence warship and is ready to play a key role in defending international trade freedoms and Britain’s interests.

‘Following significant engineering upgrades and a long period of operational sea training, HMS Duncan is ready in all respects to undertake any and all missions that she may be tasked to undertake – ranging from counter piracy and disaster relief to defence engagement and high-intensity 
conflict.’

Families and friends of HMS Duncan's ships company waving off the ship from Round Tower Picture: LA(Phot) Luron Wright

Families and friends of HMS Duncan's ships company waving off the ship from Round Tower Picture: LA(Phot) Luron Wright

HMS Duncan was commissioned into the naval service in September 2013.

The ship is armed with the Sea Viper missile system, which is able to track and engage several air targets at very high speed.

Duncan also acts as a floating base for a Royal Navy Lynx maritime attack helicopter which can hunt submarines and surface ships or act in a search and rescue role.

Among the ship’s company on board will be Royal Navy and Royal Marines boarding parties which can help counter any threat from pirates, terrorists and smugglers.

We’re going for nine months which is a long time to be away from family and friends but I’m still excited to be representing the UK to other countries

Able Seaman Ashley Stroud

Able Seaman Ashley Stroud, a warfare specialist on board, said: ‘This is my first deployment in the Royal 
Navy.

‘We’re going for nine months which is a long time to be away from family and friends but I’m still excited to be representing the UK to other 
countries.’

Sailors on board the ship wave goodbye to their families Picture: LA(Phot) Jay Allen

Sailors on board the ship wave goodbye to their families Picture: LA(Phot) Jay Allen

HMS Duncan is heading for the Mediterranean, Middle East and Gulf Picture: LA(Phot) Jay Allen

HMS Duncan is heading for the Mediterranean, Middle East and Gulf Picture: LA(Phot) Jay Allen