HMS Diamond, a Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer, has returned to Portsmouth adorned with kill markings after an historic deployment in the Middle East.

The warship completed a six-month mission safeguarding crucial international shipping lanes in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, during which it shot down nine drones and a Houthi missile.

The deployment saw HMS Diamond travel nearly 44,000 miles and spend 151 days at sea. One of the ship’s most notable achievements occurred on January 9, when it neutralised seven drones in a single night, the most aerial threats a Royal Navy warship has taken down in modern times in one day, according to a Royal Navy news release.

The destroyer also marked another first in April by shooting down a Houthi anti-ship ballistic missile, a feat never before accomplished by a British vessel.

Lieutenant Freddy Hamblin, Officer of the Watch 4 on HMS Diamond, described the intense engagement on January 9 in a news release: “I’d just come on watch after sunset when we anticipated the large-scale drone attack. As they closed on us, the apprehension and excitement built. It was great to see the crew’s training kicking in. When you engage with Sea Viper, the whole bridge shakes, and there’s a bright flash and a loud whoosh, followed by silence and darkness.”

Leading Writer Ben Maple shared his experience, stating in the same release: “We train for scenarios like these, and to be part of it for real was adrenaline-inducing. To know we saved lives will stay with me forever. After only seeing my wife and three children for four weeks since September 2023, I am looking forward to seeing my children smile and to see how much they have grown.”

Commanding Officer, Commander Peter Evans, praised the crew’s performance in the release: “The sailors onboard HMS Diamond have been fantastic. They have demonstrated courage, professionalism, and the very best of teamwork. Every success that Diamond has achieved for the Royal Navy and UK Defence is due to her ship’s company. We’re now really excited to be home with our friends and families, whose support has been absolutely critical to us on board.”

The deployment also included counter-narcotic operations, with HMS Diamond seizing 2.4 tonnes of drugs in the Indian Ocean. The ship’s return to Portsmouth was an emotional reunion for the crew and their loved ones, marking the end of a challenging and highly successful mission.

Petty Officer Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering) Daniel Kirsopp reflected on the deployment: “The humour of the team sticks with me. We were joking as we worked, but the reality of what was happening was crazy. It didn’t fully strike you as real until after firing the missiles. There was a real sense of achievement that we had actually done something tangible to help.”

Avatar photo
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
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

43 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832516)
13 days ago

Good job. But the lack of a proper gun meant wasting Aster in several WW1 era performance targets.

With CAMM upgrade the 4.5″ should be replaced by a 57mm gun.

Last edited 13 days ago by AlexS
Hugo
Hugo (@guest_832517)
13 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

They’re not going to replace the 4.5 anytime soon, not at least till the T23 goes out of service. Also how many of those engagements do we know were at an appropriate range for a gun?

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832526)
13 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

What do T23 have to do with T45 in this subject. Both have the 4.5″.

Lots of Houthi drones downed by 76mm. Italian, French German , Danish Navies all downed drones with it.

From the kill marks almost everyone maybe except the missile.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_832535)
13 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Yes that’s the point. It’s still the most common gun in the fleet and until it isn’t and training and maintenance is focused on the 5 inch and 57 they’re not going to have much reason to change it. Diamond had been very successful in the red sea, if they are going to take any lessons from the experience and in turn upgrade ships it will probably be in future designs or to more modern ships. The T45s are already receiving an extensive upgrade package, we know the Camm cells were a cost saving measure so an upgrade to anything… Read more »

Rob N
Rob N (@guest_832647)
13 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Yes they should have fitted MK41 16 VLS with quad packed Sea Ceptor. Instead we got 24 Sea Ceptor instead of 64. If they wished to max out the T45 they should have gone the MK41 rout.

Replacing the 4.5 gun for a 57mm would also have been wise. Also ditching the Phalanx for 40mm mounts would be a good swap. Replace the existing 30mm with DEWs.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_832655)
13 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

DEW isn’t really a replacement for conventional weapons due to the various conditions it can’t operate in. Will probably see it working alongside traditional guns

Last edited 13 days ago by Hugo
Jim
Jim (@guest_832666)
13 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

No one has ever quad packed sea ceptor in a mk41.

It’s a total waste of money putting sea ceptor in a mk41 when the entire point of sea ceptor is it can do a cold gas launch.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_832677)
13 days ago
Reply to  Jim

The only time we’d do that now is if the T31 was armed with the full 32 mk41 cells and the quad pack provides all of the air defence. I don’t think that is likely, would prefer 16 or 24 plus a reasonable number of CAMM in standard ExLS. The packing method I am most attracted to is the suggested twin-pack for the future CAMM-MR. That would be a way of having “proper” area air defence on any of our future escorts. The quad-pack of CAMM-ER also makes sense, unless someone up the line has done the sensible thing and… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832792)
13 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

How a missile that can be twin packed cannot be quad packed?

Last edited 13 days ago by AlexS
SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_832809)
12 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Look up “Circle packing in a square”
If a missile had folding fins, then a canister could be developed to fit two larger cylinders inside the square mk41 than could be quad-packed
They have to be in opposite corners.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832848)
12 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

That assumes the canister launcher is also a circle.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_832871)
12 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

I was imagining that a canister were developed that held two missiles, rather than a holder for two canisters

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_833074)
11 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Okay then that makes sense . But i am still opinion that is better to just have launchers for CAMM and do not waste MK41 for the propose.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_833117)
11 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

I think the MR version is different. There’s no way it fits in the standard VLS, it’s so much bigger than the others. It is also such a massive capability boost, like some of the earlier versions of SM-2 but carrying twice as many, that I think it is worth using to turn, say, a T31 into a temporary air defence frigate by using it to fill out one or two of the mk41 blocks. It’s certainly not something our ships (except perhaps T83 when it comes along) will carry as a matter of course because it is only really… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_832935)
12 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

CAMM and CAMM-ER use the same environmentally sealed launcher/container. CAMM-ER is slightly wider in diameter to CAMM as the rocket motor is longer and slightly wider. CAMM-MR fits the front end of CAMM containing the radar, guidance system and warhead on to a much fatter and longer rocket motor than that used for the ER version.

At Eurosatory, MBDA had models of all three of the CAMM variants. You will clearly see how much larger CAMM-MR is compared to the other two variants.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_833075)
11 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I don’t think there is any fixed data on the CAMM-MR dimensions yet.

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_833122)
11 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

So far MBDA have only released images and shown models of the MR version. The images and models look the same. Where they have fitted the front end of CAMM to a significantly larger rocket motor, when compared to CAMM-ER. One of the key Polish MoD requirements is to have an effective engagement range of 100km. Even with the longer and slighter wider rocket motor, the CAMM-ER is unlikely to reach this range. Though it might by a quasi ballistic path. However, the requirement does not state whether the 100km range is by a direct path or a ballistic parabolic… Read more »

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_832543)
13 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Also not all those drones would’ve been attacking diamond, they had alot of sea to cover and will have been engaging drones that were well out of gun range

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832853)
12 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

It is possible, but RN objective should be minimize the use of difficult to produce missiles/expensive missiles.

Andrew
Andrew (@guest_832520)
13 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

True, but then again you probably want to down an airborne threat as far away from the ship as possible. If you relied on a phalanx system only, then you always run the risk of a malfunction/jam when you need it the most.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832525)
13 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

You don’t down 300kph targets with Asters the most distance possible from the ship. That is not a viable strategy. It is perfectly possible to down a WW1 era target 3-8km from the ship.

That is why i don’t consider Phalanx viable today. Minimum a 40 mm Bofors.

Andy M
Andy M (@guest_832890)
12 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

The 45 is there to protect other ships not itself.

Jim
Jim (@guest_832667)
13 days ago
Reply to  Andrew

Exactly, I’m sure the cost effective of the missile drone exchange rate was not high on the crews mind when dealing with a precious billion pound destroyer whos very expensive radar won’t react well to shrapnel not to mention the lives of the crew.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832796)
13 days ago
Reply to  Jim

The sailor have to do what sailors do to save the ship with the available weapons. So they correctly used Asters because that is what they have.

They aren’t the managers of Royal Navy and the industry capabilities, their job is to defend the ship.
RN would get out of Asters before getting out of money.

Jim
Jim (@guest_832665)
13 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

So the 4.5 is not a proper gun but the 57 mm is?

How’s the 57mm at land attack or anti ship work. 😀

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832793)
13 days ago
Reply to  Jim

4.5 is not a proper gun because it can’t do AA , was not designed for it but to make things worse the capability was taken out by RN.

Steve
Steve (@guest_832670)
13 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

What does a 57mm gun bring that the 4.5″ doesn’t? Wouldn’t a smaller barrel mean less effective for shore bombardment which is it’s primary job?

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832794)
13 days ago
Reply to  Steve

57mm can do AA, 4.5″ can’t.
A 57mm should be able to destroy drones at 5-6km,
the 76mm destroyed these drones at 6km with a couple of rounds.

Steve
Steve (@guest_832797)
13 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

Whats the reason that the 4.5″ can’t do AA? Is it the lack of air burst ammo or is it a targeting /elevation issue?

I guess the question is whether it physically can’t do it or they just haven’t invested in the capability.

Last edited 13 days ago by Steve
AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832850)
12 days ago
Reply to  Steve

RN took out the capability of the 4.5″ gun.
Note that it was never a gun designed for the propose. it was a secondary capability. But should have been okayish for this kind of slow targets if the capability was retained.

Last edited 12 days ago by AlexS
Steve
Steve (@guest_832866)
12 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

I assume therefore it would be cheaper to bring back the capability than replace the gun completely.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832879)
12 days ago
Reply to  Steve

The problem it is legacy, AA and other ammunition maybe not being build anymore, with end of T23 only T45 will have them.

DaveyB
DaveyB (@guest_832939)
12 days ago
Reply to  Steve

The RN removed the capability. I’m sure GB will correct me if I’m wrong? But as I understand it the software was not updated on the ships CMS, that is used to then program the time delay for the fuzing. The 4.5” shells with the programmable fuzing have stayed the same. So in theory it should be a simple fix to update the ship’s CMS.

Andy M
Andy M (@guest_832889)
12 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

A gun can’t hit a target at anything like the range a missile can. To hit a target with a gun you need to be much closer to what you are protecting and that isn’t always possible.

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_833047)
12 days ago
Reply to  Andy M

True but if you are basically fending off Drones you can decide to trade off range for cost, let your Gun Armament deal with them.

Dominic Davis-Foster
Dominic Davis-Foster (@guest_832581)
13 days ago

What’s the one on the bottom left? Vulcan, Typhoon or Rafale?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_832585)
13 days ago

Shahad??

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_832590)
13 days ago

Yeh its a HESA Shahed loitering drone.

Cheers CR

Norm Browne
Norm Browne (@guest_832660)
13 days ago

Well done but using expensive missiles to down cheap drones is not really sustainable. The sooner RN ships are armed with ‘DragonFire’ the better

Steve
Steve (@guest_832672)
13 days ago
Reply to  Norm Browne

I’m not sure cost is the issue, more that the ship only carries so many missiles and in a war situation could be easily saturated.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_832851)
12 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Cost is an issue but worse than that it is industrial capacity. Aster takes time to build, uses very high performance components, it is also a high tech job -and security restricted- so there are a lot of limitations besides the money for a large production.

Jonboy
Jonboy (@guest_832689)
13 days ago

Well done to the whole crew!!!! Upholding the best traditions of the Senior Service. Hope you enjoyed all those hours in Defence Watches with the constant opening and closing of the watertight doors!!! Happy memories. Enjoy your time home with your families and get ready for the next time you are called upon. Don’t forget the kit has to be capable but it’s Jolly Jack who makes the difference in the end. BZ

Mark Kennett
Mark Kennett (@guest_833309)
11 days ago

Whatever the arguments about weapon systems, that is a pretty impressive collection of kill markings HMS Diamond now has!

The ships company have clearly excelled themselves. I assume they will be receiving an operational medal for this deployment.