HMS Duncan deploys to the Red Sea to protect shipping routes.

The Type 45 destroyer sailed from Portsmouth today to relieve her sister ship, HMS Diamond.

The Type 45 destroyer will relieve its sister ship HMS Diamond, which has been protecting shipping lanes in the Red Sea from Houthi attacks since before Christmas.

HMS Duncan is a like-for-like replacement for Diamond – armed with the same Sea Viper missile system and equipped with the same radar systems, which are able to accurately detect faraway threats.

During her deployment, HMS Diamond has shot down nine drones and one missile, launched by Houthis from the coast of Yemen at cargo ships.

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

HMS Duncan spent five months leading NATO’s premier task group in the Mediterranean Sea last year, until handing over flagship duties to the Italian Navy in December.

The ship is now ready for more operations, with over 60 new members joining the ship’s company.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Jim
Jim (@guest_822462)
1 month ago

The Red Sea has really shows NATO’s ABM and AAW capability, it’s been an amazing chance for real world training and evaluation with both AEGIs and Sea Viper being tested against Anti Ship Ballistic Missiles.

In contrast S400 again failed to intercept even an ATACMs which is pretty slow short ranged Ballistic Missile that should have been easy to intercept.

Hopefully China is watching and starting to release its Russian arsenal of weapons is dodgy and they will get slaughtered if they try to move on Taiwan.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell (@guest_822511)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

The indication that Russia’s much vaulted and over hyped S400/S500 systems were actually rubbish first came in the war in Syria. Russia deployed them there to much fan fare only for the Israeli air force to run rings around them. Often resulting in luring the SAMs to shoot down their own aircraft.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_822532)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

For the Umpteenth time the Israeli Airforce does not run rings around these systems due to the agreement made between Netanyahu and Putin, they won’t work if they are not allowed to become active!.

Fedaykin
Fedaykin (@guest_822560)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Rubbish!

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_822577)
1 month ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

Feel free to prove that it is 🤔.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_822601)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

I’d say that’s your responsibility, you made the unsubstantiated claim.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_822620)
1 month ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

It was widely reported, it is not an unsubstantiated claim, there are plenty of references to it if you bother to look.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_822625)
1 month ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

To give you a clue try googling ‘ deconfliction mechanism’ Israel Russia?.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_822573)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

That was the puff PR angle RT talking points……

but the reality was if they were switched on the Israelis would have taken them out.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_822585)
1 month ago

And the Israelis haven’t taken them out which proves the point !.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_822604)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

No, that’s basic SEAD. If the enemy turn their radar on it can be located and easily destroyed. Hence the Russians do not turn their radars on often because Israel are very good at SEAD.
If the Russians turn their radar on it is much harder to locate and destroy them because there is no radiation for a HARM to home in on. Hence the Israelis are unable to take out the S400s unless they become operative.
This game of cat and mouse is why the modern battlefield is not as transparent as it would seem.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_822621)
1 month ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Israel has taken out Syrian Ad Assets in Syria, they know where the Russian ones are and steer clear, this is not by accident.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_823410)
1 month ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

“Hence the Israelis are unable to take out the S400s unless they become operative.”

Why? just send a guided missile, does not need to be an ARM missile.
Israel and Russia have an agreement.

Jon
Jon (@guest_822469)
1 month ago

Good news to hear Duncan is out and about. A shame it has to be under these circumstances.

I wonder if the TV cameras have gone with her again. The military needs better public engagement and following a ship like Duncan over several years, for all its selectivity, could help foster public understanding.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_822574)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Hopefully proves to the doubters that another T45 is fully working!

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_822582)
1 month ago

Hmm…question: Is anyone else at least mildly curious/concerned that the two ships of the Daring class that have not/are not undergoing PIP mod, are precisely the vessels currently sailing in harm’s way? Understand that there are mitigation measures and it is not currently an issue until/unless certain circumstances would occur, nevertheless, Murphy’s Law is a universal constant…🤔😳🤞

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_822589)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

They were the two that, reputedly, suffered least from PiP related issues once the mitigations were in place.

Ultimately in order to make a top end AAW omelette you need to break some T45 eggs….

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_822791)
1 month ago

Very best wishes for the RN. 🤞🤞

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_822818)
1 month ago

That “omelette” comment was very creative of you SB! I will not look at my🍳the same way again! 😅

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_823447)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Well over 5 years ago I worked on a T45 that was in the Gulf in the height of summer. It had zero TLFs due to the previous recuperator issues. Mods to the Intercooler (we did the access work assistance) and software and operating changes meant the system was ok. The PIP changes out the 2 underpowered DGs for 3 more powerful DGs that can run and power the ship on their own without the GTAs doing it. The ship will still run on the GTAs but it now has more resilience should it lose a GTA. With 2 GTAs… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823608)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Understand, thanks for the explanation. Some previous accounts have implied a more serious continuing issue. Bottom line: if you’re not concerned, neither am I. 🤔👍

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_823695)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

The intercooler/recuperator mods work Was “fun” . Access to those specific parts of the system was not required during the ship design phase. It was supposed to last the life of the ship. It was ITAR, being US designed and supplied so there where restrictions on who could see and work on it. Machining a simple cylindrical support foot was a major evolution. Paperwork up the ying yang. ITAR cleared machine operator. Collecting the swarf after machining…absolutely ridiculous for a bit of specialist steel that we use on vessels that are not covered by ITAR all the time. It was… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823981)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

US State Dept. most recently promised to resolve the ITAR clusterflock re Australia and UK by the end of the summer, after missing previous deadline. Any wager? 🙄

George Amery
George Amery (@guest_822472)
1 month ago

Hi folks hope all is well.
Good to see a like for like being dispatched. And hopefully all the crew are kept safe and sound under her protection!
Cheers
George

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_822475)
1 month ago
Reply to  George Amery

Hope the CAMM gets added to these T45s asap. Or, trial quad packing some into the A50 Sylver?

David
David (@guest_822489)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Sea Ceptor is not due to enter service on the Type 45s until 2026. HMS Defender will be the first to be fitted.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_822495)
1 month ago
Reply to  David

Thanks. Hopefully they can do at least two or more ships simultaneously to cut down on time for back into service. I’d like to see them squeeze in a bit more than the (4*6) 24 CAMM, maybe up to (6*6) 36, especially if not adding in the MK41s. More shots would useful without being excessive.

Last edited 1 month ago by Quentin D63
Paul T
Paul T (@guest_822534)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

With only 6 Ships to play with options are limited – with Duncan and Diamond covering the Mediterranean /Red Sea deployments we really need Daring and Dragon to be fit for Ops before another Ship is layed up long term in Refit.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_822576)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Yes, they’ll need to be mindful of the time out of service, but you’d think up to two at a time should be achievable or, one at a time to back to back?
And why until 2026, bring some of it forward to 2025?

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_822535)
1 month ago

I have used an AIS tracker to have a look at Duncan and its destination was listed as Stavanger before it turned its tracker off in the Channel.
Does anyone know why that might be? I assume they will go there after the patrols in the Red Sea, and Stavanger is where HMS Somerset had her NSM fitted.
Hopefully they are planning to mount NSM on a T45 for the first time.

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_822538)
1 month ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

The only reason I can think of for a stopover in Stavanger prior to going to the Red Sea is to pick up NSM. Unless a number of the new crew are really keen on that Norwegian cheese/fish paste that comes in squeezy tubes?
The question will be whether she’ll be able to make a couple of test shots to qualify the weapon, somewhere in the Atlantic one the way down to Gibraltar maybe? I’m sure the French Navy has a range down there somewhere.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_822575)
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

NSM doesn’t require a long insertion period as it is deck mounted.

The prep work can be done incrementally and may have already started.

Stripping all the Harpoon kit can probably done by the crew.

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_822583)
1 month ago

Agreed, it’s a great add-on in that respect.
But, because of an unplanned early return to port for some repairs, Somerset was never able to actually do the test fires of their NSM in order to clear the system for service. So they’re technically just monuments to the RN’s glorious past and future of surface warfare, rathe than actually qualified weapons systems at the moment.
Of course, if the manure were to pass through the atmospheric accelerator, I’m sure they’d be good to use. But I suppose they aren’t proven yet.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_822593)
1 month ago

Hi SB Have you had a good look at the videos of her leaving Portsmouth she looks like she is flitted with the racks all ready. For a second I thought they were Harpoon racks but not so sure. If she is getting them fitted, then I suppose she couid carry out the test launches off Cape Wrath and reload at Gibralter 🤔

Last edited 1 month ago by ABCRodney
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_822600)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

NSM launcher canisters are square and Harpoon round….

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_822606)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Oh
I posted on the “Royal Navy Fleet status snapshot” article that on Saturday I saw a T45, later identified as Duncan, on Victory Jetty at Portsmouth with a crane doing work on the foredeck. Being several miles away, I couldn’t see what was being done.
That and the info above would indicate that they were fitting NSM racks prior to loading in Norway either before or after the deployment.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_822828)
1 month ago

It could be done by the crew but you are better off letting contractors do it. The Harpoon SFC and conversion machinery is massive. It would need stripping down and fleeting out. If you wanted to pass it on to someone else to use do it properly.
Matlots will use a 5lb hammer, shifters, yellow handle screw drivers and red handle pliers as special to type tools!

Math
Math (@guest_822613)
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

Yes, their is a range in between Bordeaux and Biarritz, next to the shore of the lande. In front of Biscarrosse, we are testing missiles, from Mistral and Aster to M51 and Vmax. Given the commun interest we have in the security of the Red Sea, I don’t think it will be an issue to do a few tests on the way. At the moment, we see a rapid rearmament of all our frigates with missiles and cannons, shooting control systems and detection system. The biggest fear are not the flying drones or missiles. For them, system works, but we… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_822629)
1 month ago
Reply to  Math

That’s a nice part of the world- if I was Duncan’s crew I’d be angling for some shore leave around there too! The RN and the MN have a good working relationship I believe, so I see no reason why they wouldn’t let Duncan do some testing if required. Is there a lot of work being done on the French frigates then? I think that their fit outs are pretty good- what low end missiles are they wanting to add? We have CAMM, which also can apparently kill small boats, but that is as cheap as we have gone. We… Read more »

Math
Math (@guest_822678)
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

Hi Joe, I guess artillery is good to destroy sea drones, but in a coordinated attack of convoy, the destroyer or frigates is not everywhere and merchant ships must be protected.
Yes, the loitering drones would be great to increase chances of interception on such threats.

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_822893)
1 month ago
Reply to  Math

That is true- guns are really only good for the defence of a ship and maybe within a 10-15 km radius. The protection of convoys against boat swarms of sea drones is a difficult one, but I expect that CAMM or ground launched Brimstone would fit the bill for the RN, if they get around to fitting them to the ships..!

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_822833)
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

The two French Horizon class Frigates
/Destroyers can be ( are) fitted with the Sadral PDMS on their Hangar Roofs for low tier threats.

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_822890)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Thanks, I had to look that one up. So, somewhere between Martlet/LMM and CAMM in terms of function- from the perspective that it’s lighter and shorter ranged like Martlet, but the IR homer makes it more of a fire and forget weapon like CAMM (except the seeker is different tech). And no surface warfare capability that I can see. I’m generally all for using MBDA weapons where they make sense, because of potential domestic work share. But in this case I think it falls between capabilities that we already have, and adding another missile into the inventory doesn’t seem worth… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_822645)
1 month ago
Reply to  Math

Get a second 76mm over the hangar like the Italians

Math
Math (@guest_822679)
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

Why not, but the most pressing issue is not for the protection of the frigate itself. It does have a lot of mortar fires if need be, plus machine guns and 20mm cannon. Real issue is the merchant ship 5km away that you have to protect additionally, from what I interpret as feedback.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_823412)
1 month ago
Reply to  Math

I doubt you can protect a merchant from sea drones, even less semi submersible ones if the warship is not between them and the merchant.
Maybe a drone/heli and a Spike NLOS missile type?

Math
Math (@guest_823420)
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

Probably, yes. We were laughing at Russians attacked by drones, though countering them may be a bit of a challenge.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_822832)
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

FORACS

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_822891)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Ah, thank you, I didn’t know that there was a testing range at Stavanger! That would indeed be another good reason to go there

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_822553)
1 month ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Hms Duncan should be a priority for NSM fitment, it might be the case that there is a small window of opportunity for a detour to Norway but no one has suggested that this is the case, I still think Dauntless will get them first as quoted by NL.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_822578)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Talking of NSM, is there any talk of getting more than the 11 sets or is that it? The RN T26s could also take the NSM mounted on the top of the hangar structure liked on the Australian and Canadian T26s freeing up the MK41s for other missiles.

Last edited 1 month ago by Quentin D63
Paul T
Paul T (@guest_822592)
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

No more than 11 sets announced so far.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_822819)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Just thought… NSM… Need Some More…
I’ll get my 🧥 and ☕

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_822597)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

She has some sort of racks fitted, you can clearly see them on the videos of her leaving Portsmouth.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_822609)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Had another look at NL and quick Google.
NSM racks are a clear box shape made from straight metal bars to hold the square canister.
At 0:33 on the NL video the racks can clearly be seen with a semicircular cutout in the top plate, which looks like images of a harpoon rack.
In addition the base of the rack has a solid plate rather than being purely bars like NSM.
So it’s not likely work being done was to fit NSM racks.

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_822628)
1 month ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

I know it’s not the source of all truth, but Wiki has Dauntless down as the first T45 to get NSM- I presume down to the timing of her CIP starting next month.
It’s an outside possibility that they managed to fit out Duncan while they had an opportunity, but maybe not.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_822623)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

From what I saw she still has her Harpoon Racks.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_822642)
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Yes, that’s what the Navy Lookout vid showed

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_822821)
1 month ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Top of the morning, I wonder if the RN has looked at even fitting for 4*4 NSM on the T45s instead of just 2*4, space, weight, costs permitting? It might upset the AAW purists though… Lol 😁. But if not I’d be happy with just some extra CAMM… 🤣

Last edited 1 month ago by Quentin D63
Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_822831)
1 month ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

NATO FORACS Norway (NFN) Stavanger​ (Norway)

Means they wont need to use Souda Bay or Andros Island…

You can do a full weapon system test and alignment checks for sensors against the range assets.

I have used all three places and obviously Andros Island is the No1 place to go, then Stavanger and then Souda.