The Deputy Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Jones CB, paid a visit to HMS Defender on August 3, and became the first Flag Officer to step onboard the Navy’s newest Warship under the White Ensign.
The visit gave Vice Admiral Jones the chance to welcome HMS Defender into Portsmouth and to take a look at the significant progress that has been achieved in readying HMS Defender for further sea trials and ultimately future operational tasking.
Although there is work still ahead, Vice Admiral Jones was extremely impressed with the 5th Type 45 Destroyer and said:
“I was delighted to be able to visit our latest T45 Destroyer, having been so recently welcomed into the Fleet.
“It was a great opportunity to meet so many of HMS DEefender’s Ship’s Company who have worked hard to bring the ship from build through trials and now down to her base port in Portsmouth.
“They have done extremely well to bring the Ship into the Fleet ahead of her Acceptance off Contract date and can be rightly proud of their achievements.
“Much hard work still lies ahead as she moves through further trials and sea training towards operational service, but it is great to now have HMS Defender in her home port and under the White Ensign.”
Commanding Officer of HMS Defender, Commander Philip Nash said:
“It is a privilege to have the Deputy Fleet Commander visit us so soon after having arrived in Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth.
“We in Defender have worked hard to bring this hugely capable ship to Portsmouth and I know that everyone will have been proud to be able to demonstrate exactly how far we have come since the ship was launched over 2 years ago.
“Our challenge continues now as we prepare for weapon and sensor trials that begin later this year. Those trials will allow us to start an intense period of training that will lead ultimately to operational deployment.”
HMS Defender is the fifth of six Type 45 warships built for the Royal Navy, and was launched at the BAE Systems’ Govan yard in Glasgow in October 2009.
Having arrived in Portsmouth, HMS Defender will now begin an intense period of trials and training to ensure it is 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.
Naval Today Staff, August 6, 2012; Image: Royal Navy