HMS Defender, a Type 45 Destroyer, demonstrated her capabilities to support troops ashore with a salvo from her main gun as part of the BALTOPS22 exercise.
BALTOPS22 involves 47 ships, 75 aircraft and around 7,000 military personnel from 16 nations and tests the ability of NATO and its partner nations to safeguard the region and maintain freedom and security of sea lanes, you can read more about that impressive collection of ships and aircraft here.
Naval Gunfire Support is one of @HMSDefender capabilities to support troops ashore.
As part of #BALTOPS22 we exercised this – 35 rounds, no stoppages with an impressive 1m31s "first gun" thanks to good drills pic.twitter.com/Oz4q0Hk8mH
— HMS Defender (@HMSDefender) June 14, 2022
HMS Defender is currently serving as the flagship of the US Sixth Fleet’s ‘Task Force 64’.
According to a Royal Navy news release, CTF 64 “deals in defending against attacks by missiles and fighter jets”. More specifically, CTF-64 is responsible for the planning and execution of maritime Integrated Air and Missile Defense in the Sixth Fleet Area of Operations, shown below.
“The Type 45 destroyer has powerful, cutting-edge sensors and Sea Viper missiles that counter threats and can knock moving targets out of the sky from up to 70 miles away, making her well-suited to duties at the spearhead of the specialist task group. “
CTF 64 commander, Commodore Jonathan Lipps of the US Navy, and his staff are on board Defender to command the group, which is made up of American, Swedish, Finnish and Lithuanian warships, as exercise Baltops 22 begins.
HMS Defender’s Commanding Officer, Commander George Storton, was quoted as saying:
“It is an honour to have an opportunity to work with allies and partners during Baltops. In the last 12 months HMS Defender has conducted global operations highlighting our readiness to work with international partners from the South China Sea to the Arctic. Baltops allows us to build on the firm foundation of strategic relationships and to further develop and demonstrate the ability for our ships and sailors to operate in a multi-threat environment while affirming our commitment to NATO and key alliances. Defender is a world leading air defence ship and will represent the Royal Navy with pride and dedication throughout the exercise highlighting the UK’s continued commitment to maritime alliances and operations.”
You can read more on the role Defender will be undertaking at the Royal Navy website here.