Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender returns to Glasgow

Shipbuilding has a long future on the River Clyde, building on Glasgow’s historic connections to the industry, a Royal Navy commander has said.

HMS Defender makes it way up the river Clyde past Dumbarton Castle.(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

HMS Defender, a Type 45 Destroyer, arrived in Govan on Friday in a return to the city where she was built in 2013.

The ship is berthed at King George V Dock, around a mile away from where it was built and launched, and will be open to visitors throughout the weekend.

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HMS Defender returns to Glasgow where it was built in Govan in 2013. Picture: Lewis McKenzie/PA Wire

HMS Defender’s Commanding Officer, Richard Hewitt, described the return as “a very special occasion”.

He said:”It was fantastic to arrive and see the HMS Taymar, who had a naming ceremony yesterday, seeing HMS Trent being built and looking not too far behind Taymar, and also the Type 26 which is being built on the Clyde as well.

“So a long future for shipbuilding on the River Clyde exists.”

Prior to its arrival in Glasgow, HMS Defender had been escorting a Russian naval task group along the UK coastline - keeping a watchful eye on frigate Admiral Gorshkov and three auxiliary ships.

Crew members on board HMS Defender as it is docked on March 22, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Commander Hewitt highlighted the Royal Navy’s lasting commitment to defending UK waters.

“Defender is one of the six Type 45 destroyers of the Royal Navy,” he said.

“She’ll be particularly used in the next few years in conjuction with the new aircraft carriers (HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales), escorting them on their duties around the world.”

“It’s beholden on the Royal Navy to ensure the integrity of the seas around the UK and that is our enduring commitment to the UK.”

He added: “Glasgow, in being our affiliated city, is especially important to Defender and to the Royal Navy as a whole, as part of Scotland’s commitment to the Royal Navy.

There’s a force of around 10,000 people from the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and the British Army located and working in Scotland.”