The fifth of the Type 45 anti-air warfare destroyers for the Royal Navy, Defender, has been launched from BVT Surface Fleet's shipyard at Govan on the Clyde.
A joint venture between BAE Systems and VT Group, Defender is the fifth Type 45 destroyer of a six-ship fleet designed to be used by the Royal Navy for air defence. With 47 megawatts of power, the Type 45s are the largest and most powerful air defence ships currently developed for the Royal Navy.
There have been concerns, however, as to whether production of the Type 45 Destroyers will signal a reduction of work at the Govan, facilities with a checkered history of such redundancies.
However, BVT is only half way through the programme, with a target to deliver all six ships to the Royal Navy by the end of 2013. Indeed, BVT recently signed a £309m, seven year support contract with the Ministry of Defence – in a move that will provide the high quality through life support for the Type 45 fleet.
The first of class, HMS Daring, will enter service later this year after an extensive round of rigorous sea trials. Her sister ships will also have to be proven at sea before they too are commissioned at their home base in Portsmouth. All six ships’ bow sections and masts are constructed at BVT’s shipyard in Portsmouth before being towed to Glasgow, where the ships are assembled.