Britain commissions new destroyer

March 22, 2013 at 12:08 PM

LONDON, March 22 (UPI) -- The British navy has commissioned a fifth Type 45 destroyer from BAE Systems as the sixth and last Daring class vessel heads for home port from the shipyard.

The navy's HMS Defender is an air defense vessel. It is 500 feet in length and displaces 8,818 tons. It has a range of 7,000 nautical miles at 18 knots and carries a range of guns and missiles.

The commissioning ceremony took place at the navy's base in Portsmouth.

"HMS Defender's commissioning is a significant achievement and testament to the hard work of (the Ministry of Defense) and industry teams to deliver these hugely capable vessels to the Royal Navy," said Philip Dunne, Minister for Defense Equipment, Support and Technology. "The six state-of-the-art Type 45 destroyers will play an important role in protecting U.K. interests from global threats."

The sixth Type 45 destroyer left a BAE shipyard this week and is to soon arrive in Portsmouth to begin sea trials. The fourth vessel, HMS Dragon, has been deployed to the Middle East.

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