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Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender receives fuel from USS America.

| 2021

According to information published by the U.S. Navy on August 23, 2021, USS America (LHA 6), the Navy’s only forward-deployed amphibious assault ship, conducted a bilateral fueling-at-sea (FAS) with the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender (D36) while operating with elements of the HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) Carrier Strike Group (CSG-21) in the Philippine Sea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Type 45 guided-missile destroyer HMS Defender (D36) and America-class amphibious assault ship USS America LHA 6 (Picture source: U.S. Navy)

This is the first time in history a U.S. amphibious ship has conducted a FAS with a British warship, and the third time America has refueled a partner nation at sea this summer.

Demonstrating a sustainment capacity unique to its class of amphibious assault ships, America refueled the Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Ballarat (FFH 155) on July 27 during Talisman Sabre 21. A little more than a week later on Aug. 7, America consecutively refueled Ballarat and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer JS Makinami (DD 112).

America, flagship of the America Expeditionary Strike Group, along with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility to enhance interoperability with allies and partners, and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

The HMS Defender (D36) is the fifth of Type 45 or Daring-class air-defence destroyers built for the Royal Navy. She is the eighth ship to bear the name. Construction of Defender began in 2006, and she was launched in 2009. The ship completed her first sea trials in October–November 2011 and was commissioned during March 2013.

The Daring-class guided-missile destroyers or Type 45 are primarily designed for anti-aircraft and anti-missile warfare and are built around the PAAMS (Sea Viper) air-defense system utilizing the SAMPSON AESA and the S1850M long-range radars.

The Type 45 destroyers are 152.4 m in length, with a beam of 21.2 m, a draught of 7.4 m, and a displacement of approximately 8,500 tones.

The Type 45 destroyer is equipped with the Sea Viper (PAAMS) air-defense system utilizing the SAMPSON active electronically scanned array multi-function radar and the S1850M long-range radar. PAAMS is able to track over 2,000 targets and simultaneously control and coordinate multiple missiles in the air at once, allowing a large number of tracks to be intercepted and destroyed at any given time.

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