Prior to the launch of DUNCAN, Clyde Marine conveyed parties of invited guests to the BAE Systems yard at Govan aboard two of their passenger vessels. Seen above making her way from the yard following this duty is CRUISER.
CLYDE CLIPPER, their newest vessel, was also present and she too was seen as she made her way back downriver to Greenock, leaving several of her fleetmates - the company's tugs - in attendance. Svitzer too, was represented, with SVITZER MILFORD on scene to assist with handling the warship once she had been launched.
As high water approached the tugs, together with other assembled small craft including HMS BITER that had come upriver from Faslane for the occasion, maintained position mid-river while they waited for the launch.
At 1549 exactly, DUNCAN slid into the Clyde, having been named after Admiral Adam Duncan, who defeated a Dutch fleet at the Battle of Camperdown in 1797 by Mrs Marie Ibbotson, wife of Vice Admiral Richard Ibbotson.
DUNCAN was soon brought to a halt by the dragchains attached to her her, quite possibly the last time that such an event will take place in the UK as future warships are likely to be constructed in drydock building berths.
SVITZER MILFORD was soon made fast to the stern of DUNCAN and held her in position while the smaller tugs of Clyde Marine busied themselves, clearing away some of the flotsam from the launch. Once this had been done, DUNCAN was manoeuvred into the adjacent fitting out basin where she would spend a few days prior to being moved downstream to Scotstoun. Once at the builder's North Bank yard, outfitting would continue on the last of the Royal Navy's Type 45 destroyers, which is due to become a commissioned warship in 2014. Meanwhile, the yard at Govan will be building some of the modules for the new aircraft carriers currently on order for the Royal Navy, although these will be transferred to Rosyth for final assembly.