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HMS Defender Successful Visit To Istanbul

HMS Defender arrives into the historical city of Istanbul for official visits, 09 June 2021 [Crown Copyright: LPhot Dan Rosenbaum]

Part of the UK-led CSG-21 deployment, HMS Defender spent five days in Istanbul, representing Global Britain at the start of June.


Press Release, Ankara, 05 JULY 2021: Part of the UK-led CSG-21 deployment, HMS Defender spent 5 days in Istanbul, representing Global Britain. The DIT team delivered a series of events on board.

The main event of the visit was an exclusive reception on the night of 9th of June. Selected guests from the Defence Ministry, as well as other ministries of the Turkish Republic were hosted. The event also attracted a lot of attention from key business people who have close relationships with the UK. After the Captain’s welcoming speech, the guests were welcomed by HM Ambassador to Turkey, Sir Dominick Chilcott, who clearly indicated that HMG gave great importance to Turkey and cooperation with the Turkish defence industry.

This pleasant reception was then followed by a specially arranged ‘Industry Day’ on 10th of June, delivered by DIT. UK companies such as Airbus, Shell, Thales, Arup, BAE Systems, Inmarsat, Leonardo, Rolls Royce and Vodafone had a stand on board the ship where they could engage with their stakeholders. The exhibition was held on the flight deck and the hangar of the ship.

Commanding Officer of HMS Defender, Commander Vince Owen said: “It’s a great privilege to have the opportunity to represent Global Britain in Istanbul. Turkey is an important partner and NATO ally and I’m very much looking forward to welcoming representatives from the Turkish government, business world, armed forces and defence sector on board to show them what we’re capable of.’’

Leading UK companies represented in Turkey, utilised this unique opportunity to showcase the best of the UK technology to their Turkish stakeholders. After the industry day, a sunset dinner with the participation of 20 VVIP guests was held on board where exclusive tours of the ship, and the remarkable hospitality shown by the Captain and the cabin crew, impressed the guests immensely.

All events hosted on board were held in a safe and COVID secure environment, and provided an opportunity to discuss trends and possible areas of collaboration on technology, advanced manufacturing, clean growth, defence and security sectors between the UK and Turkey.


Editorial Comment: Although these days UK MoD seldom grants access to specialist defence media wishing to provide coverage of UK armed forces and their equipment, preferring instead to generate their own targeted ‘news’ content, regrettably they can often be almost as sloth-like at getting the story out as the UK defence procurement machine can be at getting equipment to the troops. While we will still carry any interesting UK MoD new stories which have not been overly ‘spun’, as regrettably many releases now seem to be, we will no longer upload days old news from Whitehall to the top of this website but instead will post it here in the Old News section for those who might be interested.


Editor’s Footnote: Since this visit to Istanbul in early June, but only notified via a Defence and Armed Forces Update from GOV.UK at 09:27 on 6 July, HMS Defender has been off stirring up the Russian Black Sea Fleet by sailing close to its Sevastopol base on 22/23 June during a prior announced Russian maritime live-fire exercise.

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