The Royal Navy’s HMS Defender, a stalwart destroyer, has concluded its first chapter and is now set to undergo a two-year refit.
After a decade of operations, the vessel’s refurbishment will include advanced upgrades to its propulsion, missile systems, and other components, ensuring its continued effectiveness in safeguarding the seas.
After a ten-year tenure characterized by tireless service, the Royal Navy’s destroyer, HMS Defender, has returned to its home port of Portsmouth. Concluding a chapter in its history, Defender’s arrival heralds the beginning of an extensive two-year refit, a process that will revitalize the ship and elevate its capabilities for future operations.
The Royal Navy’s HMS Iron Duke, a Type 23 Frigate, recently returned to sea following a five-year refit.
HMS Defender has amassed a list of accomplishments since embarking on its maiden voyage from Glasgow over a decade ago. The vessel has traversed the equivalent of 12 circumnavigations of the globe, navigating every major ocean except the Antarctic. Defender became the first Type 45 destroyer to undertake winter operations deep within the Arctic Circle.
The HMS Defender travelled more than 300,000 nautical miles. Such achievements demonstrate the vessel’s dedication to maritime security and protecting international waters.
The forthcoming refit will incorporate the Type 45 Power Improvement Plan, an upgrade that will equip Defender with three new efficient engines, replacing the vessel’s original diesel units. This enhancement will bolster the destroyer’s propulsion, augmenting its speed and manoeuvrability.
Additionally, the Sea Viper anti-air missile system will undergo improvements, enabling the vessel to counter emerging threats. Moreover, the refit will expand the missile silo capacity by 50%, ensuring an increased arsenal at the ship’s disposal.
Commander Peter Evans, the Commanding Officer of HMS Defender, reflected on the ship’s service: “We are commemorating a bittersweet milestone, marking an incredible ten years of frontline duty. The Defender has exemplified exceptional availability among all Type 45 destroyers operating across the globe.”
As an asset in joint operations with allied forces, HMS Defender has been at the forefront of numerous international initiatives. In the past year alone, the destroyer completed four operations and participated in four exercises. Notably, it escorted the UK’s first carrier global task force deployment in 2021.