Defender, the fifth Type 45 destroyer built by BAE Systems, has set sail from the company’s Scotstoun shipyard to embark on her second and final stage of sea trials off the west coast of Scotland, before the handover to the Royal Navy later this year.
During 28 days at sea, Defender will undertake a programme of trials, including final testing of the ship’s power and propulsion, combat systems, navigational and communications equipment.
Paul Rafferty, Type 45 programme director at BAE Systems, said: “The trials demonstrate the progress we’re making and provide an opportunity to put the ship through her paces and prove her outstanding capability in preparation for Acceptance off Contract in July.”
Defender senior naval officer, Commander Nicholas Boyd, Royal Navy, commented: “Defender’s departure on her second set of sea trials marks another milestone in the life of the ship and her company as we prepare to join the fleet later this year.”
With the first four vessels in the class handed over, BAE Systems is expected to be able to deliver all six ships to the UK Royal Navy by the end of 2013. Following the sea trials, Defender will return to the Clyde for final integration and testing, before setting sail for her home port of Portsmouth in July.
Meanwhile Duncan, the sixth ship in the class, will undertake her first stage trials in the second half of this year.
Working alongside the Royal Navy at Portsmouth Naval Base, BAE Systems also provides in-service support to the Type 45 destroyers, coordinating all aspects of repair, maintenance and support to the fleet.
The Type 45s can be deployed in anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities, disaster relief work and surveillance operations as well as high intensity war fighting.