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The ship’s arrival at her new base brings Defender a step closer to her first deployment. She will now undergo sea trials before being declared ready for operations in 2013.
Armed with the world-leading Sea Viper missile defence system, the 7,500-tonne vessel is able to defend against multiple attacks from even the most sophisticated anti-ship missiles, approaching from any direction and at supersonic speeds.
The Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Peter Luff, said:
This latest addition to our fleet of state-of-the-art destroyers marks the remarkable progress being made on the Type 45 programme.
Defender, together with her five sister vessels, will form a formidable fleet and ensure that the Royal Navy remains a powerful maritime force on the world stage.
HMS Defender is the fifth of six Type 45 warships built for the Royal Navy, and was launched at the BAE Systems’ Govan shipyard in Glasgow in October 2009.
The Type 45s will provide the backbone of the UK’s naval air defences for the next 30 years and beyond. The destroyers will be capable of carrying out a wide range of operations, including anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities, and disaster relief work and surveillance operations, as well as high intensity war-fighting.
Head of Ship Support (Alliance), Commodore John Newell, said:
Entry into HM Naval Base Portsmouth of this very powerful and advanced warship is not only a great day for the Royal Navy but also for the Destroyers Project Team and our industry partners who ensured this magnificent vessel was ship-shape and ready to be accepted from BAE Systems.
Defender is a welcome addition to the fleet and, when she enters service, she will help ensure that the Royal Navy can react to any defence challenges anywhere in the world.
The final vessel in the Daring Class, Duncan, is due to undertake her first set of sea trials later this year, and is due to be accepted into service in 2014.