HMS Diamond has successfully intercepted £15 million worth of illegal drugs in an operation against traffickers in the Indian Ocean, according to a news release.

The Portsmouth-based destroyer, operating under the Canadian-led Combined Task Force 150 (CTF 150), uncovered a substantial haul of 2.4 tonnes of hashish.

This large seizure took place in the Gulf of Aden, under extreme conditions with temperatures soaring to 40°C. The drugs have since been destroyed.

CTF 150 is dedicated to combatting criminal activity across more than two million square miles of ocean in the Middle East. During the operation, HMS Diamond forced a suspect dhow to halt, despite initial resistance. The dhow was eventually stopped with the assistance of the destroyer’s Wildcat helicopter and seaboats, which had their weapons trained on the vessel.

The subsequent nine-hour operation involved Royal Marines from 42 Commando securing the dhow, allowing the Royal Navy boarding team from Diamond to conduct an in-depth search. Numerous packages containing illegal narcotics were discovered and tested on board the destroyer.

This operation follows a successful period in April when CTF 150, comprising British, US, and Indian vessels, seized nearly 5 tonnes of drugs in multiple busts across the Indian Ocean.

Notably, frigate HMS Lancaster, also patrolling for the Bahrain-based task force, seized £33 million worth of illegal drugs in two separate operations within 24 hours.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_824051)
1 month ago

BZ.

It not all stuff going whoosh and bang…sometimes you still have to do the mundane stuff like boardings. Personally, I loved doing boardings (53 in a 75 day period in the NAG) . You get off the ship for a start and there is always something new to see on a target vessel along with some tea/coffee, biscuits and a good talk with the Capt, usually about PL Football…

Just waiting for the ” Drug interdiction…waste of a good Air Defence Destroyer asset” on my bingo card…

Last edited 1 month ago by Gunbuster
Jon
Jon (@guest_824066)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I think a variety of useful tasks will help keep sailors from getting too stale. You also have to ask what might drug money be funding otherwise.

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_824091)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Having spent some time on smaller commercial vessels in the GoM and Bay of Bengal, “something new to see” is certainly one way of describing the experience!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_824310)
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

😁

DP
DP (@guest_824074)
1 month ago

The picture at the head of this article prompts a thought about the roll (and pitch) of the ship and how this must impact the RADAR’s view of the horizon. It’s an issue I dare say has existed for as long as RADAR has been on ships but such maneuvering will shift where the main lobe of an antenna is projected up in the sky and, with it, impact the returns you get back. I presume someone, at some stage, has tried to introduce gimbals for this and it was either too fault-prone or the issue isn’t as significant as… Read more »

Jon
Jon (@guest_824085)
1 month ago
Reply to  DP

Wouldn’t an AESA radar compensate by altering the scan aim?

DP
DP (@guest_824092)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

That’s a good point but I suppose it wouldn’t have to be an AESA specifically, just a phased array, right? Which I think the 1850 is, is it not? I’m not sure about Sampson antenna though … I can’t see the array (inside its radome!). In theory, you could compensate for pitch and roll by entering a compensating factor into the array, could you not? Is this how it’s used?

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_824099)
1 month ago
Reply to  DP

Sampson is AESA and S1850 is PESA
There are pictures on NL of Sampson without the dome on in an echo chamber.

DP
DP (@guest_824095)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Sorry Jon, I’m confusing AEGIS with AESA. I thought you were pitching for fixed panel antennas!?!?

Jon
Jon (@guest_824366)
1 month ago
Reply to  DP

Aegis is something else altogether (US ship systems). AESA are indeed those flat panel things you are thinking of, but they don’t have to be fixed. You can rotate single AESA panels, and in the case of Sampson, rotate two AESA panels back to back. You are also right that beam-forming be done with 3D PESA too. It’s just less flexible and, for want of a better term, louder. You have roughly 120 degree beam-steering available off each panel (fading at the outer angles), so you need at least three (and usually four) fixed panels for a 360 degree view.… Read more »

DP
DP (@guest_824369)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Great, thank you Jon.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_824098)
1 month ago
Reply to  DP

Even if the radar itself is not stabilised, I am sure there will be a function with the combat system to stabilise the picture that it produces. Surely it wouldn’t be difficult to include gyros within the system to rotate the picture based on the attitude of the ship? So when an object is tracked the ship goes “I can see that the missile is there but because I am 15 degrees from vertical it is actually in that different place there”. For air defence a moving picture surely wouldn’t affect operation that much but it probably helps for gunfire… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_824311)
1 month ago
Reply to  DP

Radar antenas where gyro stabalised in pitch and role. 992 on T42, 967/968 on T22 and 996 that replaced both those on everything . AESA radars can do beam steering so its not an issue. You stabilise electronically.

DP
DP (@guest_824323)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Thanks GB

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_824090)
1 month ago

Forgive my ignorance, does this mean that Diamond is doing double duty on TF150 and swatting down Houthi drones? Or is it a one week on / one week off kind of thing/?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_824312)
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

Time on/Time off. You wont want to stay at defence watches day in day out so a bit of decompression is always advisable. Doing 6 on 6 off for weeks messes you up. You lose focus and time reference. Fatigue kicks in. People tripping over hatch combings is a bit of a sure sign you have been doing it to long. You can only stare at a display for a couple of hours before you start losing focus and need a break. Now imagine what doing it for 20 + days is like. I did a lot of defence watches.… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_824413)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

That’s a fair point- doing the same thing all the time is draining.
As they always say, it’s not just the glamour of shore visits and the excitement of combat ops/exercises- there’s a lot of bordeom and drudgery in between…

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_824760)
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe16

The drudgery is one of the things that makes Jack and Jenny do binge drinking benders when ashore. At sea, drink is available but in my experience a lot of people (Senior Rates and above) stay off it unless you get a specific at sea stand down such as a flight deck BBQ or other such activity. You are always on call out for something. In my case it was Containment Party for Fire and Floods or Flight Deck Officer. Being in a mess Cheese and Wine night, half way down my second bottle of wine when they Piped “Flood… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_824797)
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

It’s the same with the offshore industry- even with the on board TV rooms, Gyms, saunas, etc. the guys run wild when they get into port. And we’d only be out for 3 weeks at a time. Not sure how much of that is just trying to fulfil the expectation of their role, though! Sounds like there wasn’t a lot of margin for getting that one fixed in time…! I can imagine that it only takes one or two experiences like that to convince you to save the drinking for when you’re alongside! Must be hard giving cheese and wine… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_824225)
1 month ago

Hey George, since we are now questioning the Royal Navy appointments can you confirm that HMS Diamonds Captain has enough experience to be commanding his ship?
After all, as concerned members of the public we must question these things right?

RB
RB (@guest_825583)
1 month ago

 >Royal Marines from 42 Commando

Presumably Diamond has a small embarked military force provided by 42 Commando. 40 Commando is the lead for the in-theatre Littoral Response Group (South), with a ‘strike’ company embarked on RFA Lyme Bay.