Defender to sign for the navy in the summer

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THE Royal Navy’s latest Type 45 destroyer is almost ready to be commissioned after completing her second period of sea trials off Scotland.

HMS Defender, the fifth of six new £1bn warships built for the navy, spent almost a month off the Scottish coast testing her combat systems and sensors.

She is now in the final weeks of trials and tests on the Clyde as she prepares to join her sister ships at Portsmouth Naval Base in July.

Defender put to sea for her first sea trials last autumn – sailing two years to the day of her launch to test her engines, power and manoeuvrability.

As with those inaugural trials, Defender’s second trials period saw a mixed crew from her builders BAE Systems and the growing band of navy sailors assigned to give the ship a thorough run-out.

Lieutenant Commander Jonathan Pearce said: ‘Defender boasts extremely impressive capability throughout her decks which was tuned to optimum performance over the trials period.’

The sixth Type 45, HMS Duncan, is due to go to sea for her first trial later this year.