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 maiden deployment to the Middle East in December 2014 and is now in a period of maintenance in Portsmouth.

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On Deployment

This unit is currently on deployment find out how that might affect you.

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Frères D’Armes – Brothers in Arms


HMS Defender Latest News

Remembering the Fallen

Remembering the Fallen

Defender arrives in The Gulf

HMS Defender arrives in the Gulf

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Current operation Operation Kipion

Units of the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary have been on patrol in the Gulf since October 1980, after the Iran/Iraq conflict of that year, and more recently operations have extended further south with the increase in piracy off the Somalia coast.

Having warships present in the region is one of the main tools the UK has to show our commitment to this part of the world.

  • Alongside

    Alongside in her home port of Portsmouth Naval Base

Protecting our economy

Maritime trade is the lifeblood of the UK economy and industry. 95% of Britain’s economic activity depends on the oceans. And every year Britain imports goods worth £524 billion.

The UK is so dependent on the seas for its prosperity, that without the Royal Navy acting as a deterrent the effect on the economy would be overwhelming.

Providing security at sea

The UK has a responsibility to its citizens and its allies to endeavour to safeguard the high seas. This is why the Royal Navy protects home and international waters – making sure the global trade that Britain and the world depend on can proceed without a hitch.

Location middle east

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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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