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28 May 2024

HMS Duncan deploys to the Red Sea to protect shipping routes

HMS Duncan deploys to the Red Sea to protect shipping routes
Royal Navy Image
Royal Navy Press Release
Royal Navy warship HMS Duncan has deployed from Portsmouth today to protect vital trade routes from attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

The Type 45 destroyer is set to relieve sister ship HMS Diamond, which has been performing the same task since before Christmas and has successfully shot down nine drones and one missile launched by Houthis from the coast of Yemen at cargo ships.

Duncan is a like-for-like replacement for Diamond – armed with the same potent Sea Viper missile system and equipped with the same powerful radar systems able to detect faraway threats with immense accuracy.

The 200 men and women of HMS Duncan have worked tirelessly to ensure their ship is ready to deploy, successfully completing trials and training last week in preparation for an intensive spell on operations, which will see the ship work to ensure freedom of navigation, and make international waters safer and more secure for merchant vessels. 

Commanding Officer, Commander Dan Lee, said: “I am immensely proud of the work the ship’s company have done to ready HMS Duncan for this important deployment.

“HMS Duncan will be ready to deliver on operations around the clock as we join efforts to protect trade routes from Houthi attacks, continuing the excellent work of HMS Diamond and HMS Richmond in the region."

He continued: “We have spent the past week readying the ship and saying our farewells to our families and loved ones who turned out to wave us off from Round Tower in Portsmouth.

“It is a privilege to serve on the Royal Navy’s ‘last and best’ Type 45 destroyer and I have every confidence that the ship and our people will succeed on operations and support stability where tasked.”

HMS Duncan spent five months leading NATO’s premier task group in the Mediterranean Sea last year, leading allies on patrols and working for the safety and stability of the region until handing over flagship duties to the Italian Navy in December.

Just 22 weeks later, the ship is primed for more operations, but with more than 60 new members of the crew champing at the bit to get going.

Among them is Able Rating Charles Henderson, 18. He is a seaman specialist and this is his first ship and first deployment.

“I am immensely excited to be deploying but I’m highly focused on the operations ahead and ready to put all my training into practice,” he said.

The ship will initially carry out specific weapons, damage control and survival training through various realistic but mock operational scenarios, before further trials in the Mediterranean and eventually sailing through the Suez Canal and into the operational theatre. 

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