UKHMS Diamond ready for operations

The UK now has three ground­break­ing Type 45 destroy­ers ready to deploy on oper­a­tions after HMS Dia­mond passed her final, demand­ing test.

HMS Dia­mond — the Roy­al Navy’s third Dar­ing Class destroy­er built by BAE Sys­tems in Gov­an [Pic­ture: LA(Phot) Nick Crusham, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]
Source: Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

The state-of-the-art war­ship has come through six weeks of train­ing and assess­ment off Ply­mouth, the final hur­dle to jump before she can sail on front line duties. 

The Basic Oper­a­tional Sea Train­ing (BOST) saw Dia­mond ‘hit’ with incom­ing mis­siles from sub­marines and her ship’s com­pa­ny work­ing in dark­ness and smoke to deal with fires and floods. 

Pass­ing BOST with a ’sat­is­fac­to­ry’ over­all grade, Dia­mond, the third of six new Portsmouth-based Type 45s, is now fit to deploy on oper­a­tions, join­ing her old­er sis­ters Dar­ing and Daunt­less on the ‘ready’ list. 

All three are sched­uled to deploy in 2012 while their three younger sis­ters — Drag­on, Defend­er and final­ly Dun­can — are under­go­ing train­ing, tri­als and a final fit­ting-out, respectively. 

Com­man­der Ian Clarke, HMS Diamond’s Com­mand­ing Offi­cer, said: 

“We are real­ly pleased to have passed BOST. We are get­ting ready for oper­a­tions and get­ting ready to deploy. That’s what brought us to Ply­mouth, to under­go a six-week train­ing pack­age to get us ready for task. 

“This is a brand new Type 45 get­ting ready for oper­a­tions, and one of our main tasks is get­ting the ship’s com­pa­ny ready. For each of us under­go­ing the sea train­ing we are in post for the first time in a new ship and that is a seri­ous challenge.” 

To pass her BOST pack­age HMS Dia­mond had to react to con­stant chal­lenges put in place by the staff of Flag Offi­cer Sea Train­ing (FOST). One of the biggest hur­dles was the ‘Thurs­day War’, where sim­u­lat­ed dam­age occurred in all parts of the ship. 

Com­man­der Clarke said: 

“The Thurs­day War is the cul­mi­na­tion of weeks of train­ing at sea. We have had four days of fight­ing sub­marines, sur­face ves­sels and air strikes and ‘the War’ is about putting all of that togeth­er. This is where things get seri­ous for the ship as things we hope don’t hap­pen for real always hap­pen on a Thurs­day War. 

“We have had fires and floods, lost our propul­sion and steer­ing — all of that impacts on my abil­i­ty to fight the ship. 

“How­ev­er, this ship is a real change in terms of our fight­ing capa­bil­i­ty and the Type 45 ships enable us to fight mul­ti­ple threats at the same time.” 

On Fri­day, HMS Dia­mond was real­ly put to the test with her final inspec­tion. FOST staff came on board to make sure the ship was ready to take on the task of deployment. 

Com­man­der Andy Burns, Com­man­der of Sea Train­ing at FOST, said: 

“We have about 240 staff work­ing on around 10 train­ing cycles at any one time. We train ships from dif­fer­ent nations, but the stan­dards are absolute that they have to reach. 

“The Thurs­day War and final inspec­tions are key steps inso­far as they test a ship’s abil­i­ty to man­age mul­ti­ple attacks and dam­age while remain­ing a fight­ing unit. 

“There’s a real sense of pride for us when a ship comes through her train­ing and is suc­cess­ful, because it real­ly is a thor­ough test.” 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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