RogerBW's Blog

HMS Defender 01 May 2015

After the tour of HMS Middleton, it was off to Greenwich to see the Type 45 HMS Defender. As with other recent tours, it was very selective, with no access to berthing or engineering spaces. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

She was anchored pretty much where Bulwark was last year, near Greenwich Pier, with a ferry service taking visitors out and back.

The boat deck is next to the helicopter hangar, though they don't seem to share machinery.

Another life raft. Anyone would think they though the things looked comfortable. This time I got a better look at some of the details.

Another passing helicopter, for no obvious reason.

Starboard Phalanx mount.

Sylver VLS protrusion. There's obviously been a lot of effort put into removing radar clutter on this ship, but the Aster 15 and 30 missiles that are the main warload (as "Sea Viper") are 4.2-4.9m long, and apparently there wasn't space to put the whole thing below decks.

Turret, with the RN's favourite 4.5" Mark VIII* naval gun, and foredeck area. The RN publicity material claims that this gun (range about twelve nautical miles) makes the ship a capable surface combatant. (This is not one of the four ships of the class that's being fitted with Harpoons.)

Details from the forward superstructure.

Sea Gnat decoy launcher

A sighting point; I think a telescope of some sort would normally be mounted here.

Port Phalanx. (Not Goalkeeper.)

The decoy magazine, near the launcher.

Mid-superstructure detail including stores hoist.

Gap between fore and aft superstructure sections (which seems to be where most of the engine exhaust happens).

Internal detail in aft superstructure, including an interestingly shock-mounted electronics box. (Over the gas turbines, and close to the hangar.)

Into the hangar; the gantry runs across the front and along each side, presumably to make maintenance easier. This was where they'd set up the displays for the below-decks specialties (they weren't going to let mere civilians below decks).

Merlin helicopter on the flight deck.

The ship's bell.

Pilot information display, on the aft side of the superstructure, which was blinking red all the time I was able to see it.

Port boat deck, with a RIB out on the davits. If you can still call them that.

Foam nozzle for firefighting.

Turbine room door.

More internal detail, environmental monitoring.

Server room door. Yes, it's still called a server room even when you put it aboard a ship. (We walked through the operations centre, but weren't allowed to photograph anything; displays appeared to be a 22" LCD flanked by a pair of 17" LCDs per station, with keyboards, trackballs and sometimes specialised controllers all loose on the desk surfaces. Here is an official MoD photo, which apart from being much brighter and rather tidier looks like a good match for what I saw.)

Internal communications. Appears to be VoIP.

Status board.

My entries for Antenna of the Month Club. Up the main radar tower, and other shots from off the starboard side. It's interesting that in spite of all the efforts to minimise radar clutter there's still a lot of deck furniture; I bet they remove those railings if they're expecting to go into action.

How sad to see these scrapes, with the ship so new and all.

See also:
HMS Middleton


  1. Posted by Owen Smith at 02:19pm on 01 May 2015

    There's rather more rust staining than I'd expect on such a new ship.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 02:35pm on 01 May 2015

    I don't know the schedule - with Bulwark they showed her off just as she was going into a maintenance period.

  3. Posted by Rory at 02:02pm on 05 May 2015

    Image 23 from the top: what is "FOD" and how does it "kill"?

  4. Posted by RogerBW at 02:05pm on 05 May 2015

    Foreign Object Damage, loose stuff that gets sucked into air intakes or just blown around in a damaging way. Walking across a flight deck looking for loose objects is known as the "FOD plod".

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