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The vessel sailed from her home port of Portsmouth on 1 May, as part of the UK led Carrier Strike Group also made up of aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond, Type 23 frigates HMS Kent and HMS Richmond, Astute-class submarine, RFA Fort Victoria, RFA Tidespring, USS The Sullivans of the US Navy and HNLMS Evertsen of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The De Zeven Provinciën-class Dutch frigate also embarked at Sarayburnu Port.
Before the Industry Day event, the Commanding Officer of HMS Defender, Commander Vince Owen, said: “It is a great privilege to have the opportunity to represent Global Britain in Istanbul. Turkey is an important partner and NATO ally, and I am very much looking forward to welcoming representatives from the Turkish government, business world, armed forces and defence sector onboard to show them what we are capable of.”
The vessel will remain embarked in Istanbul until entering the Black Sea with the dutch frigate. Thus, two ships will most likely remain in the Black Sea for 20 days.
HMS Defender is the fifth Type 45 built for the Royal Navy. Thus, she is the eighth ship to bear the name. She is also the largest and most powerful destroyer in the Navy’s fleet.
The Air Defence Destroyer has the Sea Viper air defence system, which combines the Sampson radar system and the Aster missile system. The ship has a 48-cell Sylver A50 VLS, for a mix of up to 48: Aster 15 missiles (range 1.7–30 km) Aster 30 missiles (range 3–120 km). The system tracks aircraft and other objects across thousands of cubic miles of airspace identifies threats, and destroys them when necessary.
The ship has last tested its system two years ago at NATO’s Exercise Formidable Shield exercise. A few days ago, Royal Navy’s same class vessel HMS Dragon tested its Sea Viper system in Scotland, Royal Navy announced on 4 June. The Royal Navy is using artificial intelligence to defeat missile attacks. The technology allows the operator to identify missile threats more quickly than usual. TurDef learned that artificial intelligence may decide to attack a coming threat on its own if the parameters are set beforehand and if the ship is in a hostile environment.
The UK Industry Day provided an opportunity to discuss trends and possible areas of cooperation on Technology, Advanced Manufacturing, Clean Growth, Defence and Security sectors between the UK and Turkey. The exhibition was held on the flight deck and the hanger of the ship. The participant companies are Airbus, Rolls Royce, FNSS, Shell, Vodafone, Caterpillar, Inmarsat, Leonardo, Thales, BAE Systems.
Jane Grady, Deputy Trade Commissioner for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at Department for International Trade from British Consulate, said that they give great importance to Turkey and cooperation with the Turkish Defence Industry.
Airbus has presented its A330 MRTT and A400M airlifter programmes. A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) is an aerial refuelling tanker aircraft based on the civilian Airbus A330. Turkish Air Force has been in search to renew its aerial refuelling fleet. Turkish Air Force has KC-130 tankers that use Aerial Refuelling Boom System. A330 MRTT has this system installed onboard. Airbus also promotes an A400M airlifter. Turkey has ordered 10. Nine aircraft is already in inventory.
Rolls Royce provides T-129’s LHTEC T800-4A turboshaft engines via its joint venture with Honeywell. In addition, it has shown interest in the Turkish TF-X aircraft program. It also wants to provide marine MT30 gas turbines to future air defence frigate project. In addition, the company has an engine on a Turkish indigenous Gökbey helicopter. Its or its joint ventures products power Bell’s Cobra helicopters, C-130 and A400M air lifters. The company provides solutions in both environments to the Turkish Industry.
FNSS Savunma Sistemleri A.Ş. is a Turkish joint venture company owned 51% by Nurol Holding of Turkey and 49% by BAE Systems Inc. The company provides armoured land vehicles.
Caterpillar Inc. sells machinery, engines, financial products, and insurance to customers via a worldwide dealer network. It is the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturer. Caterpillar UK provides a CV12-6A V12 diesel engine for Challenger 2 tanks via Perkins Engines Company Limited, a subsidiary of Caterpillar. It also manufactures marine engines. The company demonstrated its engine capacity.
Inmarsat is a British satellite telecommunications company offering global mobile services. It provides telephone and data services to users worldwide via portable or mobile terminals, which communicate with ground stations through fourteen geostationary telecommunications satellites. The company is in search of third markets via Turkey.
Leonardo is a global company in Aerospace, Defence and Security based in İtaly. In addition, the company has Leonardo UK, which provides solutions on the sea, air, land, cybersecurity and space domains.
Thales Group is a French multinational company that designs and builds electrical systems and provides services for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets. Thales in the UK engages with suppliers and supply chains from around the world.
BAE Systems plc is British multinational arms, security, and aerospace company. Its headquarters are in London and Farnborough in the United Kingdom, with operations worldwide. It owns Turkish joint venture FNSS Savunma Sistemleri A.Ş., with Nurol Holding.