HMS Duncan is back at sea after an overhaul that aims to prepare the Type 45 destroyer for the next five years of service.
The warship is away from the city for the the first time since November 2019 and is now in the waters off the south coast to undergo a series of trials. Her crew returned to her last summer.
Earlier this year, all six of the navy’s Type 45 destroyers were stationed in the city’s port for improvement works, as the ships had been plagued by engine issues since they were launched in 2010.
HMS Duncan’s commanding officer, Commander Ben Martin, hailed his ship’s return to sea and said: ‘This is a significant event in the life of HMS Duncan as she continues her journey back to front line operations.
‘I am immensely proud of the sailors of HMS Duncan and what they have achieved so far; it is a real honour to lead such a capable, enthusiastic and professional team.’
Major changes have been made to the ship’s pipework for cooling propulsion and high voltage equipment on board, as well as replacement rudders and a complete refurbishment of the destroyer’s distinctive radar system on its foremast.
Among the 207 sailors aboard Duncan, there are many who are going to sea for the first time in their naval careers, including Able Rating Kayleigh Hearn, the youngest member of the crew.
She said: ‘It is really exciting to be going to sea and putting into practice everything we have learned over the past few months.
‘Bringing a ship out of refit is really challenging but also hugely rewarding.’
HMS Duncan will spend the next several weeks undergoing trials with sporadic visits to Portsmouth.