Over 14,000 people came out in force to watch the final Type 45 Destroyer, HMS Duncan, launch on the Clyde today, October 11 2010.
The 7,500 tonne warship slid down the slipway into the Clyde at Govan, Glasgow, at 3.47pm, after being launched by Lady Sponsor Mrs Marie Ibbotson, the wife of Vice Admiral Richard Ibbotson CB DSC Deputy Commander in Chief Fleet.
The event was particularly poignant as crowds gathered to see what may be the last ever ‘dynamic launch’ on the Clyde. Future vessels are more likely to be built in dry docks which will be filled with water on launch days, rather than the traditional launch method, which dates back more than 200 years.
HMS Duncan is the last of six Type 45 Anit-Air Warfare Destroyers built for the Royal Navy by BAE Systems, with her predecessors HMS Daring, HMS Dauntless, HMS Diamond, HMS Dragon and HMS Defender.
Speaking about today's event, Alan Johnston, the managing director of BAE Systems’ Surface Ships division, said: “Today’s launch marks the culmination of a hugely successful production phase on the Type 45 programme. Today’s event is a celebration of the hard work and commitment of everyone involved and it’s remarkable to see so many people turn out to share this occasion with us.
“The warships built at our yards in Clyde and in Portsmouth are among the best in the world. We continue to invest in our people and facilities to ensure we retain this enviable reputation of British shipbuilding expertise and remain competitive for the long-term success of our business.”
Named after Admiral Lord Viscount Adam Duncan who defeated the Dutch fleet in the Battle of Camperdown on 11 October 1797, HMS Duncan was launched exactly 213 years after the historic battle.
Schoolchildren, former shipyard workers and their families and former veterans were among the crowd who turned up to see what may be the last ever dynamic ship launch on the River Clyde, marking a pivotal moment in British shipbuilding heritage. They were entertained with a series of drills and displays, including performances from the Band of HM Royal Marines Scotland.
- Read more about the HMS Duncan and the history of shipbuilding in Scotland
- Check out photos from the launch of HMS Duncan