HMS Defender

HMS Defender

HMS Defender is the fifth of the Navy's six state-of-the-art Type 45 destroyers. She returned from her 9-month deployment to the Middle East in July 2016 and is now back alongside in Portsmouth Naval Base.

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Defender's deployment dosh - nine-month Middle East mission raises £7,500 for RNRMC


HMS Defender Latest News

Type-45 Destroyers ready to rescue stricken submariners

HMS Defender returns from the Middle East

HMS Defender returns from the Middle East

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Current operation Alongside

Currently alongside in her home port of Portsmouth Naval Base

  • Alongside

    Alongside in her home port of Portsmouth Naval Base

Location Portsmouth

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Unit History

HMS Defender1797

There have been seven previous ships of this name. The first was a 12-gun brig that was disposed of in 1802 during the Peace of Amiens


Only two years later, the second HMS Defender was a 14-gun brig launched in 1804 and wrecked in 1809.


The third Defender was a captured French privateer, previously the Beau Marseille. Captured by HMS Royalist, she was sold in 1814.

Colonial torpedo boat1883

The fourth Defender was a second class colonial torpedo boat, and can still be seen on display at the Torpedo Boat Museum in Lyttleton, New Zealand.

Battle History1911

The next HMS Defender was commissioned in 1911, a destroyer which saw extensive action throughout World War 1 before being sold in 1921.

Battle Honours1914

Heligoland 1914

Battle Honours1915

Dogger Bank 1915

Battle Honours1916

Jutland 1916 - Damaged by a German shell but carried out sufficient repairs to return to base in Aberdeen with HMS Onslow in tow,. The Captain, Lt Cdr L R Palmer, received the DSO.

The Fifth Defender1932

The fifth Defender took part in the action at Spartivento and the victory off Cape Matapan. Lost off Egypt in 1941 - bombed on a convoy run to Tobruk.

Battle History1940

Calabria 1940
Spartivento 1940


The penultimate HMS Defender detected the wreck of the Prince of Wales off Malaysia, supported operations at Suez in 1956, and took part in the Coronation Review of 1953.

Shore establishment1950

Named briefly as a shore-based unit in Liverpool during the Battle of the Atlantic, the Defender name returned to sea in 1950 as a Daring-class destroyer.

The latest Defender2009

The current HMS Defender is the fifth Type 45 Destroyer. She was launched in 2009.

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Commanding Officer Stephen Higham

Stephen Higham

Rank: Commander

Commander Stephen Higham joined the Royal Navy in 1997he assumed command of HMS Defender in January 2015.

Previous units

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Defender has a top speed of 30 knots


Displacement: 8,000 tonnes; Length: 152m; Beam: 21.2m; Complement: 190

HMNB Portsmouth

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