The British Royal Navy's HMS Diamond Type 45 destroyer has successfully tested its Sea Viper missile system off the coast of Scotland, thereby proving its ability to defend itself and other nearby vessels from a range of threats.
The tests saw the Aster missile launched from the warship’s silo and accelerate to more than four times the speed of sound in order to hit and destroy the target, which had been specially designed to simulate a projectile attack on the 7,500t vessel.
HMS Diamond's Sea Viper missile manoeuvred at G-forces over the seas to close in and destroy the target, which was a Mirach drone travelling through the Outer Hebrides region at around 500mph.
HMS Diamond commanding officer commander Ben Keith said: “An explosion in the sky marked the missile destroying her target, all in all the culmination of another successful week's work for HMS Diamond.
“I am immensely proud of my team and the work they put in over the past few weeks to make this test firing possible.
“We have proven once again that the Type 45 destroyer is a world-beating ship when it comes to air defence, and this firing gives us the utmost confidence in Diamond and her systems in advance of our deployment later this year.”
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The Sea Viper weapon missile is the combination of Type 45 destroyer's Sampson radar device and the Aster missile system.
The system has been designed to be able to track aircraft and other objects across thousands of cubic miles of airspace, as well as identify threats and destroy them when deemed necessary.
HMS Diamond is now slated to return to Portsmouth, UK, for a final period of preparations before being deployed later this year.
Image: The UK Royal Navy’s HMS Diamond conducts Sea Viper missile test firing. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.