SAILORS serving in the Royal Navy’s newest ship have been praised for getting her ready for sea trials so quickly.
The navy’s deputy fleet commander, Vice Admiral Phil Jones, paid a visit to HMS Defender in Portsmouth yesterday morning. He is the first Flag Officer to step onboard the Type 45 destroyer since she arrived at Portsmouth Naval Base last week.
Although there is work still ahead before the ship can deploy on live operations, Vice-Adml Jones said he was extremely impressed with what he saw on the £1bn ship.
He said: ‘It was a great opportunity to meet so many of HMS Defender’s ship’s company who have worked hard to bring the ship from build through trials and now down to her base port in Portsmouth.
‘They have done extremely well to bring the ship into the Fleet ahead of her acceptance off contract date and can be rightly proud of their achievements.
‘Much hard work still lies ahead as she moves through further trials and sea training towards operational service, but it is great to now have HMS Defender in her home port and under the White Ensign.’
Defender’s captain, Commander Philip Nash said: ‘It is a privilege to have the deputy fleet commander visit us so soon after having arrived in Portsmouth.
‘We in Defender have worked hard to bring this hugely capable ship to Portsmouth.
‘I know that everyone will have been proud to be able to demonstrate exactly how far we have come since the ship was launched over two years ago.
‘Our challenge continues now as we prepare for weapon and sensor trials that begin later this year.’