Defender, the fifth Type 45 destroyer built by BAE Systems for the UK Royal Navy, sailed into Portsmouth Naval Base this morning, where she was handed over to the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
The white ensign was raised by the ship’s company for the first time on board Defender as she joins her sister ships HMS Daring, HMS Dauntless, HMS Diamond and HMS Dragon as the newest addition to the Portsmouth fleet. Commodore John Newell, Head of Ship Support, (Alliance), formally accepted the destroyer on behalf of the MOD.
Paul Rafferty, Type 45 Programme Director at BAE Systems, said: “We are proud of the fantastic progress made in delivering these highly complex and capable vessels to the Royal Navy. Our teams have worked hard to incorporate all of the lessons learned from the first four ships to ensure Defender is the most advanced Type 45 destroyer we have delivered to date. We will continue to work in partnership with the MOD and Royal Navy here in Portsmouth, as we support Defender through the next exciting phase of her life as the crew prepares for operational service.”
Head of Ship Support (Alliance), Commodore John Newell, said: “Entry into 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.”
Defender was launched at the company’s Govan yard in Glasgow in October 2009. Following an extensive sea trials programme, the ship left the Clyde for the final time on Saturday 21 July with a combined BAE Systems and Royal Navy crew. After completing the 300 mile journey, she arrived alongside at her new home port of Portsmouth on July 25. Duncan, the sixth and final vessel in the class, is due to undertake her first and second stage sea trials later this year before handover in 2013.
Working alongside the Royal Navy at Portsmouth Naval Base, BAE Systems provides in-service support to the Type 45 destroyers, coordinating all aspects of repair, maintenance and support to the fleet. The Type 45 Class Output Management (COM) team in Portsmouth currently provides support to four commissioned ships HMS Daring, HMS Dauntless, HMS Diamond, and HMS Dragon. The COM team delivers improvement, efficiency and flexibility to equipment design and ship management activities to ensure the Type 45 destroyers are available for operational requirements.
The Type 45s will provide the backbone of the UK’s naval air defences for the next 30 years and beyond. The destroyers are capable of carrying out a wide range of operations, including anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities, disaster relief work and surveillance operations as well as high intensity war fighting.
Each destroyer will be able to engage a large number of targets simultaneously, and defend aircraft carriers or groups of ships, such as an amphibious landing force, against the strongest future threats from the air. The vessels will contribute a specialist air warfare capability to worldwide maritime and joint operations.
Source: baesystems, July 30, 2012; Image: ssa