Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan departed her Portsmouth homeport on March 8 for a six-month operational deployment which will include high-profile cooperation with the French Navy.
Duncan will spend the first part of the deployment in the Mediterranean Sea, providing air defense to the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle as part of their carrier strike group deployment named Clemencau 19.
The Royal Navy said HMS Duncan’s participation in the deployment would offer the ship crucial training in task group operations and aid the preparations for HMS Queen Elizabeth’s first operational deployment in 2021.
Upon detaching from the FS Charles de Gaulle, HMS Duncan will resume NATO operations as required. While the navy did not specify, the NATO tasking is likely to include the destroyer’s participation in the operations of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG 2).
“This operation with the aircraft carrier is an ideal chance to demonstrate the prime role of HMS Duncan as one of the world’s most advanced destroyers,” the ship’s captain commander Tom Trent said. “With HMS Queen Elizabeth almost ready for task group operations, this will be an excellent chance to prove the ability of the Type 45 as a carrier escort.”
Duncan’s sister ship HMS Dragon is currently deployed in the warmer waters of the Gulf where she is working with Combined Maritime Forces to protect some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and conducting counter-narcotic operations. HMS Defender continues operations in home waters shadowing Russian ships through the North Sea.