Hampshire & Isle of Wight

HMS Defender commissioning ceremony held in Portsmouth

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Media captionThe 190-strong ship's company were joined by invited guests for the event

The latest Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer, HMS Defender, has been formally commissioned into the fleet.

A ceremony was held at Portsmouth Naval Base to mark the ship's transition into frontline service.

The destroyer was built by BAE and launched at Govan in Glasgow in 2009. It has since undergone testing and been used for training.

Commanding officer Cdr Phillip Nash said it was a "hugely significant" event for the 190-strong company.

"This day of commissioning represents the culmination of months and years of hard work of training, trials and practice focussed on ensuring that Defender is ready to undertake operations around the world whenever tasked," he added.

Dignitaries and the families of the ship's company attended the ceremony, along with representatives from the ship's affiliate cities of Exeter and Glasgow.

The 7,350-tonne ship is designed to provide air defence cover.

Defender is the fifth of the navy's six new Type 45 destroyers to be commissioned, following HMS Daring, HMS Dauntless, HMS Diamond and HMS Dragon.

The sixth, Duncan, left BAE System's Scotstoun yard on the Clyde on Monday for Portsmouth where it will undergo sea trials.

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