Diamond’s captain and crew sailed past the Round Tower and into their home port for the first time yesterday morning, Wednesday 22 September 2010, ready to begin sea trials that will test both them and the vessel to the limit before she is declared operational.
The Type 45 destroyer set sail from BAE Systems’ shipyard on the Clyde on Saturday, bidding farewell to the construction shed for the last time and to the thousands of proud workers who built her.
Head of Destroyers, Commodore Steve Brunton, accepted Diamond on behalf of the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support.
It is a huge privilege to accept this magnificent ship on behalf of the MOD, hot on the heels of HMS Daring and HMS Dauntless being commissioned 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 in the next few weeks.
The ship’s company and BAE Systems’ employees stood to attention in a diamond formation on the flight deck to salute the White Ensign being raised as Angus Holt, UK Programmes Director at BAE Systems’ Surface Ships division, transferred responsibility for the ship to Commodore Brunton.
Diamond’s Commanding Officer, Commander Ian Clarke, said:
It is an enormous responsibility to command a ship with Diamond’s cutting-edge. The ship performed magnificently during its early sea trials.
I am supported by a truly dedicated team and together we are keen to progress to the next stage, transforming Diamond into an effective front line warship, ready for operations anywhere in the world.
As well as her world-beating air defence capability - the Sea Viper missile system can engage up to ten targets, one of the Type 45’s greatest assets is their versatility.
Anti-piracy, anti-smuggling activities and surveillance operations are among just some of the roles she will be able to perform as well as high intensity war-fighting.
Her large flight deck can operate a range of helicopters and she has additional capacity for 60 people - enabling her to contribute in support of land operations or humanitarian disaster relief.
Diamond was launched by Lady Suzie Johns, wife of Vice Admiral Sir Adrian Johns, on the Clyde in 2007. Since then she has been fitted out internally and undergone two sets of sea trials which were completed in June 2010.