Destroyer’s crew carry out a first during aircraft sea trials

The team passes the Nelson statue in Old Portsmouth. Picture: Keith Woodland (171022-0023)

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THE Royal Navy’s newest commissioned warship has become the first of her kind to carry out a tricky manoeuvre at sea.

HMS Defender carried out a transfer of people to her fore deck from a helicopter while the ship was moving.

The Type 45 destroyer has been conducting intense aviation training to ensure she is able to undertake all kinds of operations during any future tasks.

During this training, a four-man team was flown out and winched on to the fore deck from a hovering Merlin helicopter.

Lieutenant Commander Chris Pate, the ship’s principal warfare officer, said: ‘The opportunity to conduct two days of intense training with Merlins has been essential to ensure we are ready to embark our own Merlin in the summer.

‘The Merlin helicopter is an awesome piece of kit.

‘It really does increase the ship’s capability when embarked, especially in anti-submarine warfare.’

HMS Defender is the fifth of the Royal Navy’s six Portsmouth-based destroyers.