Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan arrives in the Mediterranean after protecting French aircraft carrier for a month

ROYAL Navy warship HMS Duncan has begun security patrols in the Mediterranean after shadowing a French aircraft carrier for a month.

Thursday, 18th April 2019, 1:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th April 2019, 1:17 pm
HMS Duncan has arrived in the Mediterranean. Photo: LPhot Paul Hall

The Type 45 sailed into the region following her month-long stint with FS Charles de Gaulle.

Duncan’s mission with the French Navy was seen as a warm-up act for her future role of protecting Britain’s new £3.1bn carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth ahead of her 2021 deployment.

The £1bn destroyer worked as part of a carrier strike group and will take lessons back to Britain to help prepare the navy’s own task force.

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Lieutenant Commander Ellen Laird, is ship’s logistics officer in charge of everything from bringing enough food to making sure the ship has enough ammunition.

She said: ‘Getting the ship prepared for operations is a team game and it’s been impressive seeing everyone pull together to be ready to deploy after only a short time since our Nato deployment last year.

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‘Our first month has been busy working with the French aircraft carrier, performing the ship’s central role as an air defence destroyer.

‘With HMS Queen Elizabeth’s maiden deployment in the not-too-distant future, it was the perfect opportunity to rehearse how we work in a task group.’

Duncan and her 280-strong crew left Portsmouth in March.

She is the newest of the navy’s six Type 45 air defence destroyers, touted by the Senior Service as one of the world’s most advanced warships.

HMS Duncan hit the headlines last year while leading a Nato deployment to the Black Sea. 

She was captured by film crews from a Channel 5 documentary as she was swarmed by 17 Russian warplanes while sailing 30 miles off the coast of Crimea.