The MoD say that HMS Diamond has recently been tested by Tornado, Typhoon and F-16 jets, plus E-3 surveillance aircraft and Voyager tankers in the skies above and around Cyprus.
Now, say the Royal Navy, she is ‘trying her hand’ at anti-submarine warfare aided by one of the Royal Navy’s hunter-killer submarines, HMS Talent.
The destroyer used her Wildcat helicopter – armed with Sting Ray torpedoes – to hunt the Trafalgar-class boat, which in turn sought to get Diamond in her periscope cross-hairs without being noticed, a challenge made harder by the near-glass like state of the Mediterranean according to a release.
“All this proves our ability to deploy, operate and sustain ourselves for however long is required,” said Commander Ben Keith, HMS Diamond’s Commanding Officer.
“Type 45 destroyers are one of the cornerstones of our modern navy and this training enables us to demonstrate our ability to exercise and operate with armed forces both internationally and across defence. Safeguarding the seas ultimately helps keep Britain safe, as our nation depends so much on the oceans for our economy. My ship’s company stand ready always to provide security where it’s needed on behalf of the UK.”
HMS Diamond sailed for the region at the end of September for an autumn deployment conducting security operations in the eastern Mediterranean. Where as the submarine, understood to be HMS Talent, was recently seen loading Tomahawk cruise missiles in Gibraltar.
— David Parody (@dparody) September 18, 2018
Launched in 1988, Talent has conducted operations all around the world. The principal role of the ‘hunter-killer’ is to attack ships and other submarines however she also has a land attack capability. The Tomahawk missile, also known as TLAM, allows Royal Navy submarines of the Astute and Trafalgar class to strike at targets on land accurately at a range of around 1,000 miles.
The missile is a highly accurate, GPS-enabled weapon that the US and allied militaries have used more than 2,000 times in combat, and flight-tested 500 times say the manufacturer.