The 180-strong HMS Duncan ship’s company have returned to their destroyer after an 18-month upkeep period at HM Naval Base Portsmouth.
Having returned from operational duty in the Gulf at the end of 2019, Duncan has been supported by BAE Systems throughout her refit with the aim now of getting her back to sea later this year.
Commanding Officer, Commander Hugh Harris, said: “HMS Duncan has been one of the Fleet’s workhorses over the previous couple of years with deployments to the Gulf, Black Sea, Mediterranean and twice leading a NATO maritime group. Her refit will make her more capable on operations and more comfortable for the men and women under my command; our job now is to get her ready for sea and whatever operations we are tasked with thereafter.”
Improvements to communications systems, safety equipment, living quarters and galleys, including overhauls of machinery and weapons have been made. All of these have been completed in spite of the Covid-control measures the naval base’s workforce have been operating under since March last year.
Graeme Mather, Head of Ship Repair at BAE Systems, said: “Everyone involved, from BAE Systems to the Ship’s Staff, with whom we have worked closely, have done a fantastic job of meeting the challenges this project has presented, while simultaneously adapting their ways of working to ensure COVID compliance. Duncan’s upkeep has been a real enterprise effort.”
Cdr Harris concluded that this is a really important step in the regeneration of HMS Duncan as she prepares to return to sea and ultimately to deploy on operations.