A Royal Navy warship has tested her missile system off the coast of Scotland.

HMS Defender, a Type 45 destroyer, used missiles to neutralise an incoming drone target designed to simulate a projectile attack on the ship.

The missile firing took place as part of NATO Exercise Formidable Shield which involved vessels from nine other navies. 

Officers said the test had proved the Portsmouth-based ship’s ability to defend herself and other ships around her from attack.

Lieutenant Commander Daniel Lee, the ship’s Senior Warfare Officer, said: "Being a part of our first firing against a fast-moving, low-level target has been a really rewarding experience.

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“Proving the effectiveness of the Sea Viper system against a more challenging target reassures us in the ability of HMS Defender to deliver on operations as an air defence destroyer.”

Sea Viper is a combination of the Sampson radar system and the Aster missile system, which sits in a silo on the ship’s forecastle.

The system tracks aircraft and other objects across thousands of cubic miles of airspace, identifies threats, and destroys them when necessary.

These were all put to the test during Exercise Formidable Shiel, with almost every nation involved firing missiles throughout the 10-day exercise off the Hebrides.

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Led by the US Navy’s 6th Fleet, the exercise was the largest of its type with 13 ships, more than 10 aircraft and in excess of 3,300 personnel taking part.

Lieutenant Commander Ben Shirley, HMS Defender’s Weapon Engineer Officer, said: “Maintaining relationships and our ability to work with other nations is vital to the defence of the UK.

“Operating with a number of our allies has given us a fantastic opportunity to witness other nations’ missile defence systems.

“It has also given us the ability to better understand how well our own systems perform in a variety of conditions against a variety of targets.”