Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond is taking part in the operation to destroy chemical weapons materials removed from Syria
The ship, based in Portsmouth, is taking part in Operation Recsyr, the ‘REmoval of chemical weapons from SYRia’. Her role is providing protection to the vessels tasked with transporting the chemical substances from Syria.
The first Type 45, HMS Daring, arrived in Portsmouth in January 2009. She has been followed by HMS Dauntless, Diamond, Dragon, Defender and now Duncan. They will all be based in Portsmouth.
The class is primarily designed for anti-aircraft and anti-missile warfare and is built around the PAAMS (Sea Viper) air-defence system utilizing the SAMPSON AESA and the S1850M long-range radars. After the launch of Daring in 2006 Admiral Sir Alan West, a former First Sea Lord, stated that it would be the Royal Navy’s most capable destroyer ever, as well as the world’s best air-defence ship.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:
“The removal of Syria’s declared chemical stockpile represents a substantial achievement by the international community and the British public can be proud of the role played by the crew of HMS Diamond and the Royal Navy.
The use of chemical weapons is abhorrent and it is a hugely positive development that these declared materials have been removed from Syria and will be destroyed, putting them beyond the reach of the Assad regime and substantially reducing his ability to attack his own people.”
The next phase of Operation Recsyr will see HMS Diamond escort the vessel holding the chemical weapons to Italy where the hydrolysis process is to begin on board a US military vessel.
Diamond’s commanding officer, Commander Andy Ingham, said:
“HMS Diamond is in the privileged position of being able to contribute, in such a demonstrable way, to the United Nations efforts to remove chemical weapons from the Syrian regime. My highly trained ship’s company have worked hard throughout these past months to maintain operational focus.”