HMS Diamond

The UK Royal Navy’s third Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond has returned to sea after completing 15 months of renovations by BAE Systems.

The Daring-class, anti-air warfare ship has now left Portsmouth Naval Base to undergo sea trials in the English Channel.

HMS Diamond commanding officer commander Marcus Hember said: "The upgrades ensure the ship remains at the forefront of the Royal Navy’s surface flotilla and is the jewel in the Naval Crown.

"The crew can sharpen their knowledge and increase their experience in readiness for operational sea training and future operations in an ever-changing and dangerous world."

Under the maintenance and improvements programme, the destroyer was equipped with the Harpoon missile system and received upgrades to communications and IT equipment.

"The upgrades ensure the ship remains at the forefront of the Royal Navy’s surface flotilla."

A new gas turbine and stabilisers, including upgraded high-pressure salt water and air systems, were also installed.

Capable of operating a range of helicopters from its flight deck, the 152.4m-long and 21.2m-wide HMS Diamond has been designed to support a range of missions, including humanitarian and anti-smuggling.

With a displacement capacity of 7,350t, the destroyer can cruise at speeds of approximately 33mph and accommodate a crew of 235.

HMS Diamond underwent the modernisation programme after its participation in the international task group to provide force protection for merchant vessels transporting chemical weapons and substances out of Syria for destruction.

Image: HMS Diamond went to sea for the first time since the summer of 2014, after completing 15-month revamp. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.