HMS Duncan has finally set off from Plymouth after “technical issues” meant the warship had to be (kind of embarrassingly) towed back to land after leaving for NATO duties.

The £1 billion Royal Navy ship set sail to a European port after training exercises near Plymouth last week. But members of the public spotted the ship being towed back two days later.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman reportedly said it had experienced technical issues and was brought back to Plymouth as a “precautionary measure”.

(Chris Ison/PA)
(Chris Ison/PA)


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HMS Duncan is one of six Type 45 vessels commissioned by the Ministry of Defence at a cost of £1 billion each. It is designed to protect other warships from missile and air attack.

But the ships have been criticised for having various problems since their introduction. MPs attacked MoD for the “extraordinary mistakes” in the design of Type 45 destroyers after it emerged they had faulty engines.

A select committee said: “It is astonishing that the specification for the Type 45 did not include the requirement for the ships to operate at full capacity – and for sustained periods – in hot regions such as the Gulf.”

(Chris Ison/PA)

(Chris Ison/PA)


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But on Friday HMS Duncan set sail to re-join the NATO Maritime Group 1 on duty.

The ship’s commanding officer, Commander Charlie Guy, told the Plymouth Herald: “I am delighted that my highly trained and capable crew have returned HMS Duncan to NATO operations in short order.”

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