Launch of the Clyde-built Defender

22 Oct 2009

By Catriona Stewart, The Herald

HMS Defender made a dramatic splash yesterday as thousands watched the latest Clyde-built warship take to the water.

The Clyde-built destroyer was launched in front of Lady Massey, wife of Vice Admiral Sir Alan Massey. The fifth Type 45 warship swept into the water to the sound of the Band of the Royal Marines and lit by fireworks.

More than 13,000 people turned out to watch the ship launch from the BVT Surface Fleet's shipyard at Govan.

Lyndsey Ferguson, from Paisley, said the launch had been an emotional event.

The 20-year-old said: "It's the first time I've ever seen a ship launch and I found it a really emotional experience. It's amazing to think this was built in Scotland and it was Scottish hands that built it. It makes me proud."

A Royal Marines helicopter entertained the crowd while they waited for the 3.20pm launch.

Defender is the fifth of six Type 45 ships, which will replace the dated Type 42 fleet, to be build at the Glasgow shipyards.

She and her sister ships protect both Navy and merchant ships while at sea with their air defence system.

Chief in Command Fleet Admiral Trevor Soar said: "The thousands gathered here today to witness the launch of Defender is testament to the pride

Scotland rightly takes in its shipbuilding industry, which has seen a resurgence in recent times with the Type 45 build programme and the manufacture of the Aircraft Carriers they will defend.

"The launch of the fifth ship is an exciting milestone as we draw nearer to the first of class HMS Daring entering into service in the New Year."

TV presenter and journalist Kate Adie joined Glasgow's Lord Provost Bob Winter at yesterday's launch.

Reproduced with the permission of the Herald & Times Group.

  • 13,000 people turn out to watch the launch of HMS Defender

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