HMS Diamond exercises with her French counterpart

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

One of the Royal Navy's newest warships HMS Diamond has been working with one of her French counterpart near-identical twin ships in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Type 45 destroyer took part in a series of exercises with FS Forbin, a French Horizon Class destroyer which looks similar to the Royal Navy’s brand new fleet of ships.

Originally conceived under the same project that envisaged a single design for the British, French and Italians navies, the UK subsequently decided to pursue its own design, the Type 45, but there are still many similarities between the Type 45s and the Horizon Class.

HMS Diamond met up with FS Forbin while on her way to the Middle East where she will be working to protect the seas, keeping them safe for international trade.

As specialist air defence platforms, both ships engaged in exercises that saw them defend themselves against attacking jets flown from the French aircraft carrier FS Charles de Gaulle.

Sea boats pass each other as personnel from HMS Diamond and FS Forbin swap ships
Sea boats pass each other as personnel from HMS Diamond and FS Forbin swap ships [Picture: Leading Airman (Photographer) Gary Weatherston, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]

This scenario reflected what both HMS Diamond and FS Forbin are primarily designed to deal with if they were escorting a task group of warships, and it allowed them to engage with multiple aircraft and simulated missile runs.

Captain Marc Assedat, the Commanding Officer of FS Forbin, said:

Speaking openly and sharing each other’s experiences strengthens our confidence.

Having left her home port of Portsmouth on 13 June and already having called in at Gibraltar, Diamond continues to the Middle East, where she will take on operational duties from her sister ship HMS Daring, protecting UK interests in the region.