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HMS Diamond, the third Type 45 anti-air warfare destroyer built for the Royal Navy, arrived in Portsmouth this morning (Sept 22nd).
The warship's been handed over to the Ministry of Defence at a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base.
Members of the ship’s company raised the white ensign for the first time onboard Diamond, as the Royal Navy’s Commodore Steve Brunton formally accepted the destroyer on behalf of the MOD in Portsmouth, where she will join her sister ships HMS Daring and HMS Dauntless.
Angus Holt, UK Programmes Director at BAE Systems’ Surface Ships division, said:
“Diamond is an exceptional ship and we are proud to hand her over to the Royal Navy today. The Type 45 programme is a great example of an effective partnership between industry, the Royal Navy and the Ministry of Defence to deliver enhanced capability to our armed forces.
“Our work on Diamond and her sister ships now continues, providing in-service support to the ship and the rest of the fleet, to ensure that they meet the UK’s operational requirements.”
Head of Destroyers, Commodore Steve Brunton, said:
“It is a huge privilege to accept this magnificent ship on behalf of the MOD, hot on the heels of HMS Daring’s acceptance into service with the Navy.
“With five ships in the water - one in service, two in MOD hands and two more on contractor trials - 2010 has been an extremely busy year on the Type 45 programme already and is still to see the last of the class, Duncan, launched down the slipway into the Clyde.”
First steel was cut on Diamond in May 2005 and she was launched at the Company’s Govan yard in November 2007. After undergoing an extensive sea trials programme, Diamond left the Clyde with a combined BAE Systems and Royal Navy crew for the final time on Saturday, 18 September, and arrived into her new home port of Portsmouth earlier today.
As Class Output Manager for the fleet, BAE Systems will also provide in-service support to the fleet. Working side by side with the Royal Navy at Portsmouth Naval Base, the company’s engineers will coordinate all aspects of repair, maintenance and support to improve ship availability and reduce through life support costs to enable the Royal Navy to meeting its operational commitments around the world.
The Type 45 destroyer is the largest and most powerful air defence destroyer ever built for the Royal Navy and will provide UK Defence with a world-class military capability. The Type 45s will provide the backbone of the UK's naval air defences for the next 30 years and beyond. The destroyers will be capable of carrying out a wide range of operations, including anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities, disaster-relief work and surveillance operations as well as high intensity war fighting.
Each destroyer will be able to engage a number of targets simultaneously, and defend aircraft carriers or groups of ships, such as an amphibious landing force, against the strongest future threats from the air. The vessels will contribute a specialist air warfare capability to worldwide maritime and joint operations until 2040.