The fifth of six of the new Type 45 destroyers – the Daring class – HMS Defender yesterday reached Portsmouth, after her passage from the Clyde, presumably for handover and commissioning into the Royal Navy.
Defender – with her five sisters – has been built by BAE Systems at Govan and Scotstoun. The sixth ship, HMS Duncan, was launched at Govan on 11th October 2010 and is now fitting-out at Scotstoun.
Defender came down-river from Scotstoun on Saturday 21st July, apparently flying a Blue Ensign – therefore not already commissioned.
She anchored north of Great Cumbrae until Sunday 22nd July, then went through some further sea trials before sailing for Portsmouth.
Early yesterday morning, Tuesday 24th July, she was performing some evolutions in Lyme Bay, west of Portland.
She was then seen east of the Isle of Wight, on a track suggesting she was proceeding directly to Portsmouth RN base.
Defender then lay anchor in the immediate approaches to Portsmouth. Other Type 45s on their delivery run – with HMS Dragon possibly one of them – waited for several hours outside Portsmouth before going in.
This point of Defender’s naval life is an important transition into full service life. I wish her well.