#NavalVisitors - A UK Royal Navy 'Daring' class destroyer that arrived into Cork Harbour today notably took up a rather strange place to berth at Marino Point, the site of the former IFI plant, writes Jehan Ashmore.
HMS Defender (D36) is a fifth Type 45 destroyer which makes up the backbone of the Royal Navy. The 152m air-defence destroyer which has weapons and equipment consisting of a MK8 Gun along with Sampson, Phalanx and Sea Viper systems.
Yesterday, the 8,000 displacement tonnes destoyer departed Plymouth Sound. At noon today, HMS Defender was tracked off the entrance to Cork Harbour from where the destroyer proceeded passed the Irish Naval Service Base on Haulbowline Island, opposite Cobh.
When Afloat contacted the Port of Cork, the following reason was given for the berthing of HMS Defender as the jetty at Marino Point was the only suitable berth available throughout the harbour able to accommodate the vessel. Normally, when visiting naval vessels call, they tend to be allocated berths at Cobh or upriver along the city's central quays.
The offer of this berth at Marino Point, where once stood the Irish Fertiliser Industries (IFI) plant was taken up by HMS Defender. The 10,129 gross tonnage destroyer having entered the harbour rounded Rushbrooke and headed upriver through the narrow neck of Cork Harbour to berth opposite Passage West. Adjacent to this town is The Victoria Dockyard site Afloat previously reported with a private wharf remains up for sale. It is here where commercial cargoships use this facility.
The purpose of the naval visit is for the crew of HMS Defender to take up rest and recreation during the weekend.
The 2011 built destroyer recieved a refit in Portsmouth that were completed this year. This was to significantly upgrade equipment along with a 'Duke' class frigate HMS Kent (F78) also a specialist submarine-hunter. Both vessels' command and control systems and weaponry over the last 18 months form part of the UK Ministry of Defence's £179 billion equipment programme.