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HMS Duncan Is the Sixth, and Last, Type 45 Destroyer

The Royal Navy welcomed its newest, and last, Type 45 guided-missile destroyer on Sept. 26, 2013. HMS Duncan (D37) was commissioned at the Portsmouth Naval Base, home to all six of the Daring-class DDGs. The lead ship in the class, HMS Daring, was commissioned in July 2009.

The six Type 45 destroyers were built to replace the 14 Sheffield-class Type 42 destroyers, which were veterans of the war in the Falklands.

The Type 45 represents the most advanced warships ever built in the United Kingdom. It also represents the state of the Royal Navy in the second decade of the 21st century.

HMS Duncan

HMS Duncan’s commissioning ceremony was held on Sept. 26 at the Portsmouth Naval Base. It has been suggested that, during an “intensive attack”, a single Type 45 could simultaneously track, engage, and destroy more targets than five Type 42 destroyers operating together. And might well have to, with only six being built. U.K. Ministry of Defence photo by LA (Phot) Maxine Davies

The six Type 45 destroyers were built to replace the 14 Sheffield-class Type 42 destroyers, which were veterans of the war in the Falklands. The last Type 42, HMS Edinburgh, was decommissioned in June 2013. The destroyers operated with 14 of the contemporary Type 22 and 8 Type 21 frigates, all of which are retired now. While there are 13 Type 23 frigates operating now, with planned replacement by Type 26 “global combat ships,” it’s clear that the surface combatant fleet, while more capable unit for unit, will have about half as many ships.

Their primary mission is air defense.

Their primary mission is air defense. The Daring-class destroyers protect the carrier and other ships in a strike group and other high-value units from air and missile attacks with their BAE Systems Maritime Services Sampson active electronically scanned array (AESA) and the S1850M long-range radars, and the Principal Anti-air Missile System (PAAMS), referred to as the Sea Viper missile, which can hit targets at ranges up to 70 nautical miles. The S1850M is produced by BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies and Thales, based on the Thales Nederland SMART-L radar. PAAMS is built by the EUROPAAMS consortium.

HMS Duncan

Members of HMS Duncan’s ship’s company assemble during the commissioning ceremony, Sept. 26, 2013. U.K. Ministry of Defence photo by LA (Phot) Maxine Davies

The Type 45s were built by BAE Systems using prefabricated blocks and modular assembly methods at different shipyards, including Scotstoun and Govan in Scotland, as well as at Portsmouth.

The first four Type 45s have already experienced life on operational deployments.

According to the U.K. Ministry of Defence, the first four Type 45s have already experienced life on operational deployments and the fifth, HMS Defender, is due to deploy for the first time next year.

HMS Duncan

Duncan is the seventh vessel in the Royal Navy’s history to be named after the 18th century naval commander Adm. Lord Adam Duncan.

 

Type 45 Destroyers

Daring (D32): Commissioned July 23, 2009

Dauntless (D33): Commissioned June 3, 2010

Diamond (D34): Commissioned May 6, 2011

Dragon (D35): Commissioned April 20, 2012

Defender (D36): Commissioned March 21, 2013

Duncan (D37): Commissioned Sept. 26, 2013

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Capt. Edward H. Lundquist, U.S. Navy (Ret.) is a senior-level communications professional with more than...