HMS Defender has flexed her considerable muscle in the final phase of her pre-deployment training package to see off attacks from fighter jets, pirates and small boat attack.
The Royal Navy’s most powerful destroyer has proven her worth across the full spectrum of the ships war fighting capability.
The ship has just completed 5 weeks of intense training under the watchful eye of Flag Officer Sea Training, whose exacting standards are still feared around the Fleet.
The examination phase of training commenced with attacks from over 20 small craft in the South Coast exercise areas.
The Portsmouth based Type 45 more than ably saw off the attacks and brought her guns to bear on what is a very real threat around the globe.
Next up was the classic Thursday war scenario, with threats from air, surface and submarine, with considerable simulated battle damage overlaid to stretch the ship and her ship’s company to the limit.
Lt Cdr Steve Robinson, the ship’s Weapon Engineer Officer added, “The training we receive at FOST is World class and prepares us for any eventually, wherever we may be tasked around the World.
“My department of 50 highly skilled men and women have excelled, proving the worth of frontline engineers to the Royal Navy in maintaining these highly technological ships ready to fight and win.”
Defender welcomed a detachment of Royal Marines for the first time to tackle another global threat of piracy.
The combination of “Royal” and the Type 45 was no match for the simulated pirates smuggling drugs and weapons. The pirates were quickly intercepted, searched and apprehended.
The final phase saw the ship move into the North Sea to exercise the ship’s primary function of Area Air Defence.
Defender was joined by a “boys own” selection of fighter jets including United States Air Force F15s, RAF Tornadoes and RAF Typhoons.
The ship not only proved her ability to shoot down threats from the air with the deadly combination of 1045 radar and Sea Viper missiles, but her ability to control friendly aircraft to intercept hostile fighters.
“This was a dream come true controlling some of my favourite aircraft that I made models of as a child, and an amazing way to cap off our training period.” added the ships Fighter Controller S/Lt Kev “The Red Baron” Diaper.
The Commanding Officer, Cdr Phil Nash said, “One year on after been commissioned into the Fleet Defender and her ship’s company are poised and ready to deploy wherever tasked around the World to defend Britain’s National interests”
The ship returns to Portsmouth to undertake a short maintenance period and take some well-earned leave, before deploying on operational tasking.
Press Release, March 20, 2014; Image: Royal Navy