The Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer, HMS Defender, will open her gangway to visitors from her affiliated city of Exeter this weekend (October 4-6).
The ship will be alongside at HM Naval Base Devonport in Plymouth for a special three-day ‘friendship’ visit. Defender will stage a demonstration of her impressive capabilities for invited civic dignitaries on 4th Oct 13.
HMS Defender is the fifth of the Navy’s six state-of-the-art Type 45 destroyers built at BAE Systems’ Govan shipyard on the Clyde, launched in October 2009, and commissioned into the Royal Navy Fleet in March this year – the ship is also affiliated to the city of Glasgow.
HMS Defender commanding officer, Commander Philip Nash said:
“This weekend will further enhance the very special relationship which has been formed between my Ship’s Company their affiliated city of Exeter.
“Affiliation support is crucial not only in the daily life of a warship but especially when we deploy on operations world wide – this is our chance to pay something back for that continuous support.
“We have had great interest and support from the city since Defender was launched. My sailors are very proud of the part they have played bringing this new T45 into service and are very keen to show off this exceptional ship.
“This visit from the good people of Exeter provides a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate first hand to our visitors Defender’s capabilities, our day to day lives onboard and the role this thoroughly modern warship has at the heart of the Royal Navy’s efforts around the world protecting the interests of the United Kingdom.”
On Saturday Exeter residents will step on board their state-of-the-art anti-aircraft destroyer. Places for the visits are already full and, as well as visiting HMS Defender, visitors will enjoy a fascinating tour of the historic area of the dockyard and of the former Cold War submarine Courageous, now a museum.
Businesses from Exeter have come together to supply lunches for the 300-400 visitors expected to make the coach journeys from the city.
On Sunday tours for youth groups will take place, including Sea Cadets from Tiverton, Exeter and Teign Valley.
Press Release, October 04, 2013; Image: Royal Navy