VT Shipbuilding started production of the latest Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer on July 31. Construction of the fifth ship in the Class, which will be called HMS Defender, was officially started by Matt Roberts
, Leader of the Defense Procurement Agency’s Type 45 Integrated Project Team. He started cutting steel on VT’s advanced laser machine to signal the launch of production. The bow section is scheduled to leave VT in February 2008 for consolidation with the rest of the ship, which will be built at the Govan yard of Type 45 prime contractor BAE Systems Naval Ships. VT is building the bow sections, funnels and masts of all six Type 45 destroyers on order and the 1,000 tons section will eventually be 50 m long and some 14 m high. In keeping with forecasts, VT expects production man hours on the latest ship to be considerably fewer than previous ships. The Type 45 Anti-Air Warfare Destroyer will serve as the backbone of the Royal Navy’s air defense fleet until 2040 and beyond.