UK’s Upgraded Type 45 Destroyer Deployed to Caribbean Post-Refit

London, UK – 27 May 2023

The Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer, HMS Defender, has been deployed to the Caribbean following a significant overhaul and upgrade, the Ministry of Defence announced today.

HMS Defender, one of six Type 45 destroyers in the Royal Navy’s fleet, underwent an extensive refit and enhancement process over the last 18 months at HM Naval Base Portsmouth. The upgrade included enhancing its missile systems, propulsion, and onboard electronics.

UK Upgraded Type 45 Destroyer Deployed to Caribbean Post-Refit

“HMS Defender is once again ready to fulfil her duty, embodying the very best of the UK’s naval capabilities,” said Admiral Tony Radakin, First Sea Lord. “The deployment to the Caribbean underscores our commitment to upholding international maritime law and ensuring freedom of navigation.”

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The Caribbean deployment marks the ship’s first operational deployment since the upgrade. HMS Defender will work with regional international partners on drug interdiction and humanitarian relief operations, demonstrating the ship’s multi-role capabilities.

It will also take part in joint exercises with allied nations in the region to further indicate the UK’s commitment to maintaining strong relationships with overseas territories and partners.

“The return of HMS Defender to active duty represents a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to modernise and strengthen the Royal Navy,” said Defence Secretary Ben Wallace. “This deployment highlights the UK’s commitment to global maritime security and our ability to project power across the world.”

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The deployment of HMS Defender to the Caribbean follows its previous assignment in the Persian Gulf, where it served in an air defense role protecting US and allied vessels. The destroyer’s capabilities include the Sampson radar system and the Aster missile system, allowing it to detect and neutralize threats at a significant distance.

The Caribbean mission will also provide an opportunity for the Royal Navy to showcase the improved capabilities of the Type 45 destroyers after their recent upgrades. It will highlight the UK’s naval power and flexibility in providing humanitarian aid, drug interdiction, and disaster relief while engaging in high-end warfighting capabilities.

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This major overhaul reflects the UK government’s ongoing investment in its defense capabilities, aimed at maintaining a modern, powerful Royal Navy ready to meet the demands of a rapidly changing global security landscape.

The HMS Defender’s deployment is a statement of intent about the UK’s global maritime role and reflects the nation’s commitment to maintaining international maritime security.

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