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Defender resumes her sea trials as new destroyer prepares to join the Fleet

HMS Defender

12/03/2012

Britain’s fifth Type 45 destroyer has sailed for four weeks at sea off the west coast of Scotland to complete her trials. HMS Defender is testing her engines, communications and combat systems ahead of being handed over to the Royal Navy this summer.

Defender’s departure on her second set of sea trials marks another milestone in the life of the ship and her company as we prepare to join the fleet later this year
Commander Nicholas Boyd

Making her way slowly down the Clyde with a tug to guide her – and with her sister HMS Duncan looming in the background – Britain’s fifth Type 45 destroyer sails to complete her extensive sea trials.

State-of-the-art HMS Defender left the BAE Systems yard where she was built on Friday for 28 days of tests and trials in the waters off western Scotland.

Her mixed crew of Royal Navy and BAE personnel will build on what was accomplished during Defender’s first trials last autumn, carrying out final testing of the ship’s power and propulsion, combat systems, navigational and communications equipment.

If all goes well on this second ‘workout’, the £1bn destroyer will be formally handed over to the Royal Navy this summer.

“Defender’s departure on her second set of sea trials marks another milestone in the life of the ship and her company as we prepare to join the fleet later this year,” said the destroyer’s Senior Naval Officer Cdr Nicholas Boyd.

“We are looking forward to operating her sophisticated equipment and systems during trials and beyond, putting our experience and training into practice.”

As well as complete the arduous task of fitting and testing the thousands of components and systems, Defender has used her time on the Clyde to begin to forge relationships with her affiliates, notably the cities of Glasgow and Exeter.

Upon her return to Scotstoun next month, Defender will undergo three months of final testing and checking her systems before she leaves the Clyde and sails to her home for the next 30-plus years, Portsmouth, in July to join the bulk of the Type 45 fleet.

As for Defender’s five sisters, Daring is deployed, Dauntless and Diamond will do so later this year, and Dragon is undergoing training and trials ahead of her maiden deployment.

The final ship in the six-strong class, HMS Duncan, is in the latter stages of completion at Scotstoun and will head to sea for the first time towards the end of the year.

She’s due to be handed over to the Royal Navy before the end of 2013, bringing the curtain down on a decade’s construction on the Type 45 project.

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