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UK Navy's last Type 45 destroyer sets sail for sea trial

HMS Duncan. A UK Navy photo.

GLASGOW (BNS): British Royal Navy's sixth and last Type 45 air defence destroyer, HMS Duncan, has set sail to begin sea trials off the west coast of Scotland.

After departing from BAE Systems' Scotstoun shipyard in Glasgow last week, the anti-air warfare destroyer began its maiden voyage to test its speed and manoeuvrability, the Navy said.

During the first stage of trials, which will last four weeks, the 7,500-tonne warship's power and propulsion systems along with its weapons systems would be tested.

A second period of sea trials, set to take place later this year, will test Duncan's combat systems and sensors in order to ensure it joins the other Type 45s already commissioned and based in Portsmouth, in pristine condition next year, the Navy said.

Work on the last Type 45 destroyer by BAE Systems began in 2008 and the warship was launched in October 2010.

The new class of warships, pegged as the largest and most powerful air defence destroyers ever built for the Royal Navy, is designed to carrying out a wide range of operations including anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities, disaster-relief work and surveillance operations as well as high intensity war fighting.

Each Type 45 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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