HMS Duncan (D37) has been deployed to the Mediterranean sea on a six-month long mission as part of a Nato’s Standing Maritime Group 2 – comprising a force of a dozen warships.

The UK Royal Navy announced that its youngest Type 45 destroyer will serve as the mission’s flagship, patrolling the sea from the Pillars of Hercules, on the Strait of Gibralter, to the Bosphorus Strait in Turkey.

Duncan will be tasked with protecting the fleet from air and missile attacks as the Nato staff choreograph the movements and activities of the Type 45 and the other warships assigned to the task group: including vessels from Canada, France, Italy, Spain and the US, individually and collectively.

The ship’s deployment is the first since she underwent a major overhaul in her home base at Portsmouth, followed by extensive regeneration to sharpen the knife ready for renewed duties on the front line.

The last act of Duncan’s regeneration was a stint in the Mediterranean earlier this year, which included joining France’s flagship, carrier FS Charles de Gaulle, in exercises off Toulon.

On its new mission, the fleet will represent and promote the alliance. If anything problematic happens, such as a severe earthquake or similar natural disaster, the task group will be Nato’s first responders if required.

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Duncan is the sixth of the highly-capable Type 45 air defence destroyers in the Royal Navy; she is based at Portsmouth Naval Base and is the first of the Type 45 class to be capable of deploying the Harpoon missile. Her total displacement is 8,000 tonnes, 152m in length with a crew of 200.

UK Royal Navy operations beyond HMS Duncan

GlobalData intelligence tells us some of the Royal Navy’s operations elsewhere in the world. The UK  maintains a presence in the North Atlantic. It is part of the Standing Nato Maritime Group 1 in the Atlantic and Mediterranean and Joint Expeditionary Force (Maritime), and carries out other various operations in the Black and Mediterranean seas.

Operations in these waters closer to home have become increasingly important due to the conflict in Ukraine. In fact, earlier this month, HMS Defender monitored a fleet of three Russian warships, tracking them as they journeyed past the British Isles. UK Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoons and P-8A Poseidon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth also worked in co-ordination with Defender to monitor the Russian vessels.