The Defender returns to Portsmouth after ten years at sea and is preparing for a refit that will allow it to perform at its best.
The Royal Navy’s HMS Defender, an iconic destroyer, has concluded its first chapter and is about to undergo a two-year revamp.
After a decade of operations, the ship’s renovation will include advanced upgrades to its propulsion, missile systems and other components, ensuring its continued effectiveness in safeguarding the seas.
After ten years of tireless service, the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender has returned to her home port of Portsmouth. Concluding a chapter in her story, the arrival of Defender heralds the start of an extensive two-year refit, a process that will revitalize the ship and elevate her capabilities for future operations.
The Royal Navy’s HMS Iron Duke, a Type 23 frigate, recently returned to sea after five years of refit.
HMS Defender has racked up a list of achievements since she embarked on her maiden voyage from Glasgow over a decade ago. The ship has traveled the equivalent of 12 circumnavigations of the globe, sailing through all the great oceans except the Antarctic. The defender became the first Type 45 destroyer to conduct winter operations deep below the Arctic Circle.
HMS Defender covered more than 300,000 nautical miles. Such achievements demonstrate the ship’s dedication to maritime safety and the protection of international waters.
The upcoming refit will incorporate the Type 45 Power Improvement Plan, an update that will provide the Defender with three new efficient engines that will replace the ship’s original diesel units. This upgrade will strengthen the destroyer’s propulsion, increasing its speed and maneuverability.
In addition, the Sea Viper anti-aircraft missile system will be upgraded, allowing the ship to deal with new threats. In addition, the refit will expand the capacity of the missile silo by 50%, guaranteeing a greater arsenal at the ship’s disposal.
Commander Peter Evans, Commanding Officer of HMS Defender, reflected on the ship’s service: “We are commemorating a bittersweet milestone, marking an incredible ten years of service on the front lines. The Defender has been an example of exceptional availability among all Type 45 destroyers operating around the world.”
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 has completed four operations and participated in four exercises. Most notably, she escorted the UK’s first global carrier task force deployment in 2021.