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BAE Systems launches last Type 45 destroyer for UK Navy


The final Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan is launched on the Clyde at the BAE Systems shipyard in Glasgow. A UK MoD photo

GLASGOW (BNS): HMS Duncan, the sixth and last Type 45 destroyer built for the British Royal Navy, was launched at the BAE System's Govan shipyard on Monday.

The 7,500 tonne warship, designed to provide defence cover against multiple air or sea targets, entered the waters of River Clyde in the presence of over 14,000 people who had gathered to witness the grand launch.

“Today's launch marks the culmination of a hugely successful production phase on the Type 45 programme,” Alan Johnston, Managing Director of BAE Systems' Surface Ships division, said.

Work on the ship's construction began in 2008. At 60 per cent complete, Duncan, is the heaviest and most advanced of all the Type 45s at launch. She will now proceed to the company's Scotstoun yard where she will enter the next phase of outfit and commissioning, BAE said.

HMS Duncan is expected to enter service with the Royal Navy in 2014.

The Royal Navy had received its third Type 45 anti-air warfare destroyer, HMS Diamond, on September 22, 2010. It joined the other two destroyers of its type – HMS Daring and HMS Dauntless – at Portsmouth. While HMS Dauntless was handed over to the Royal Navy in December 2009, HMS Daring entered service in July, 2010.

With the first three vessels in the class handed over, BAE Systems is more than half way through the programme to deliver all six ships to the Royal Navy by the end of 2013, it said.

The fourth ship, Dragon, will undertake first sea trials in November, while outfit continues on Defender, the fifth ship in the class.

The Type 45 destroyers are the largest and most powerful air defence destroyers ever built for the Royal Navy.

Capable of carrying out a wide range of operations, each destroyer can engage a number of targets simultaneously, and defend aircraft carriers or groups of ships, such as amphibious landing force, against the strongest future threats from the air.

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