HMS Defender (D36)

From Encyclopedia Britannia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Royal Navy Destroyer HMS Defender (D36).jpg
HMS Defender in 2012
United Kingdom
NameHMS Defender
OrderedDecember 2000
BuilderBAE Systems Surface Ships
Laid down31 July 2006
Launched21 October 2009
Commissioned21 March 2013
  • Defendendo vinco
  • ("By defending I win")
StatusIn active service, as of 2017
General characteristics
Class and typeType 45 guided missile destroyer
Displacement8,000[3] to 8,500 t (8,400 long tons; 9,400 short tons)[4][5][6]
Length152.4 m (500 ft 0 in)
Beam21.2 m (69 ft 7 in)
Draught7.4 m (24 ft 3 in)
Installed power
SpeedIn excess of 30 kn (56 km/h; 35 mph)[2]
RangeIn excess of 7,000 nautical miles (13,000 km) at 18 kn (33 km/h)[2]
Complement191[8] (accommodation for up to 235)
Sensors and
processing systems
Electronic warfare
& decoys
Aircraft carried
  • 1–2 × Lynx Wildcat, armed with:
    • 4 × anti-ship missiles, or
    • 2 × anti-submarine torpedoes
  • or
  • 1 × Westland Merlin,[7] armed with:
    • 4 × anti-submarine torpedoes
Aviation facilities
  • Large flight deck
  • Enclosed hangar

HMS Defender is the fifth of the Type 45 or Daring-class air-defence destroyers built for the Royal Navy. She is the eighth ship to bear the name. Construction of Defender began in 2006, and she was launched in 2009. The ship completed her first sea trials in October and November 2011, and was commissioned during March 2013.


Defender's construction began at the BAE Systems Naval Ships (now part of BAE Systems Surface Ships) yard at Govan on the River Clyde in July 2006. The launch date was 21 October 2009.[15]

Sea trials

On 21 October 2011, Defender left Scotstoun shipyard in Glasgow on her maiden voyage exactly two years to the day after she was launched, to conduct her first stage of sea trials. These trials were completed in mid-November. On 9 March 2012, she once again left the Clyde to commence a second round of trials, scheduled to last 28 days in the waters off western Scotland.[16]

Operational service

Defender escorting USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf in 2014
Defender firing an Aster missile during Exercise Formidable Shield.

The ship left Scotstoun on 21 July 2012 on her delivery voyage and entered Portsmouth at 10:00 on 25 July 2012 where BAE Systems and the Royal Navy conducted a formal handover ceremony. At 14:00 that day she raised her White Ensign for the first time as a Royal Naval vessel under the command of Commander Phil Nash. Defender was commissioned on 21 March 2013.[17] She stopped off at her home on the Clyde for final testing and was open to members of the public on Saturday 30 November 2013 before going into active service.[18]

Defender sailed 1,100 kilometres (700 mi) from Portsmouth to the north east of Scotland on 19 December 2013 to meet a Russian task group of six ships including the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and escorted them down the east coast of Scotland. The vessels were held back by bad weather and had anchored in the Moray Firth.[19]

Defender was part of Operation Shader, employed as an air defence guard ship for the US Carrier Task Force 50, in 2014.[20]

The ship sailed on 19 October 2015 for a second deployment to the Middle East region.[21] On 18 November, it was announced Defender would deploy alongside France's Charles de Gaulle carrier battle group, deployed off the coast of Syria as an air defence escort. This was in response to France's activation of article 42.7 of the European Union Treaty.[22]

On 27 April 2016, Defender escorted the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary 2 through the Gulf of Oman.[23]

In June 2016, Defender, in conjunction with Australian and French ships, seized a total haul of 1020 kg of hashish from a fishing dhow south of Oman.[24]

Defender returned to active service in April 2018 after a major 20-month long refit in Portsmouth. On 12 August 2019, Defender set sail for a deployment in the Asia-Pacific region. On 24 August 2019, HMS Defender was redeployed while on route to the Asia-Pacific region to the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz in order to bolster the British presence and escort British Shipping.[25][26]

In December 2019, Royal Marines from Defender confiscated 131 kg of crystal meth after searching a dhow in the Arabian Sea. The haul had an estimated total UK street value of £3.3m.[27]

On 23 June 2021, in an account contradicted by the UK government, the Russian military and border guards said they fired warning shots and dropped bombs from a Sukhoi Su-24 attack aircraft in the path of Defender after, according to the Russian Defence Ministry, it had allegedly strayed for about 20 minutes as much as 3 km (2 miles) into waters off the coast of Crimea, declared by Russian Federation as being annexed from Ukraine in 2014 (see 2021 Black Sea incident).[28][29] The UK military denied any warning shots were fired and said the ship was in innocent passage in Ukraine's territorial sea, later clarifying that heavy guns were fired three miles astern and could not be considered to be warning shots. BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale on board the vessel confirmed that the ship went to action stations prior to the transit; the crew put on flash protection in case of live fire; they were warned on the radio that the Russians would fire, and did hear some firing in the distance.[30][31] On 27 June, it was reported that secret documents relating to the passage of HMS Defender through Ukraine's territorial waters had been discovered at a bus stop in Kent. These documents revealed that the Royal Navy considered different hypothetical reactions from Russia in response to the ship's passage and was prepared for the possibility that Russia might respond in an aggressive manner.[32]



Explanatory notes

  1. The Harpoon missile is to be fitted to four of the six ships. HMS Duncan is to be the first.[11]


  1. "Royal Navy Bridge Card, February 2011" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 March 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "HMS Daring - Type 45 facts by Royal Navy.pdf". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  3. "Type 45 Destroyer". Royal Navy. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  4. "HMS Daring leaves Sydney after spectacular week of celebrations". Royal Navy. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  5. "For Queen and Country". Navy News (July 2012): Page 8. One hundred or so miles west of the largest city of Abidjan lies the fishing port of Sassandra, too small to accommodate 8,500-tonnes of Type 45.
  6. "HMS Duncan joins US Carrier on strike operations against ISIL". Navy News. Royal Navy. 7 July 2015. As well as supporting the international effort against the ISIL fundamentalists – the 8,500-tonne warship has also joined the wider security mission in the region.
  7. "Air Defence Destroyer (T45)". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 31 October 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  8. Royal Navy (11 July 2013). A Global Force 2012/13 (PDF). Newsdesk Media. ISBN 978-1-906940-75-1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2018. Complement as of 24 April 2013
  9. "Raytheon Press Release" (PDF). 8 March 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 March 2012.
  10. "Jane's Electro-Optic Systems". 28 October 2010.
  11. "HMS Duncan (D37)". Royal Navy.
  12. "Fleet to get the latest in electronic surveillance" (PDF). DESider. Ministry of Defence. September 2012. p. 18. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 September 2012.
  13. "UK to buy Shaman CESM for Seaseeker SIGINT programme". IHS Janes Defense. 29 June 2014.
  14. "HMS Daring". Wärtsilä. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  15. Stewart, Catriona (21 October 2009). "Clyde's new ship to make a splash". Evening Times. p. 22.
  16. "Defender resumes her sea trials as new destroyer prepares to join the Fleet". Royal Navy. 12 March 2012. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013.
  17. "HMS Defender commissioning ceremony held in Portsmouth". BBC News. 21 March 2013.
  18. "HMS Defender returns to Glasgow ahead of public opening". BBC News. 29 November 2013.
  19. Ministry of Defence (9 January 2014). "Destroyer meets Russian task force along UK coastline - News stories". GOV.UK.
  20. "HMS Defender supports operations against ISIL in the middle east". Royal Navy. 3 October 2014.
  21. Pilmoor, Ellie (20 October 2015). "HMS Defender leaves Portsmouth for nine-month deployment in Middle East". The News. Portsmouth, UK.
  22. "British warship set to support French carrier group on ISIL mission". British Ministry of Defence. 18 November 2015.
  23. "HMS Defender escorts ocean liner through potentially dangerous sea lanes". Portsmouth News. 27 April 2016.
  24. "CMF scores another huge win against drug traffickers". Combined Maritime Forces. 8 June 2016.
  25. "HMS Kent and HMS Defender deploy on operations". Royal Navy. HMNB Portsmouth. 12 August 2019.
  26. "HMS Defender to join efforts to support safe passage of Gulf shipping". Royal Navy. HMNB Portsmouth. 24 August 2019.
  27. "HMS Defender: Royal Navy seizes £3.3m of crystal meth in Arabian Sea". Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  28. "Russian military, border guards fire warning shots as British destroyer enters Russian territorial waters in Black Sea". Interfax. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  29. "Russia fires warning shots at British destroyer in Black Sea". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  30. "UK denies Russia fired warning shots near British warship". BBC News (in English). 23 June 2021. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  31. Sabbagh, Dan; Roth, Andrew (24 June 2021). "Britain acknowledges surprise at speed of Russian reaction to warship". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  32. Adams, Paul. "Classified Ministry of Defence documents found at bus stop". BBC News Online. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  33. Nicoll, Vivienne (12 May 2009). "City home to hi-tech warship". Evening Times. Archived from the original on 18 September 2012.
  34. "Glasgow's Affiliation With Royal Navy's Fifth Type 45 Destroyer, HMS Defender, Officially Announced". Royal Navy. 7 May 2009. Archived from the original on 8 August 2009.
  35. "Royal Navy offers city the chance to affiliate with advanced warship". This Is Exeter. 11 September 2009.[permanent dead link]

External links

  • Media related to Lua error in Module:Commons_link at line 64: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). at Wikimedia Commons
  • Lua error in Module:Official_website at line 90: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).