HMS Defender Heads for Middle East

Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender sailed from Portsmouth, England to the Middle East to carry out security operations which will be part of her second major deployment.

The crew of 190 left their home port, October 19, to take over duties from sister ship HMS Duncan and spend nine months working with allies in the Middle East and Gulf.

The ship’s role will be to safeguard the seas and promote UK interests in the region by acting as a deterrent to illegal activities, protecting allied and merchant shipping and helping ensure that global trade can proceed without a hitch.

HMS Defender is primarily designed to work as part of a carrier task group using her highly sophisticated radars and Sea Viper missile system to protect the carrier from attack by tracking and engaging several aircraft and missile targets at very high speed.

In addition, Defender acts as a floating base for a Royal Navy Lynx Mark 8 maritime attack helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, Somerset.

The Lynx can hunt submarines and surface ships, act in a search and rescue role and offers force protection to the ship.

HMS Defender will also carry both Royal Navy and Royal Marine boarding parties which can help to counter the threat from pirates, terrorists and smugglers.

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Image: Royal Navy

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