The UK Navy’s Daring-class Type 45 destroyer vessel HMS Diamond has served as the platform to support an on-sea trial and training exercise of the next-generation multi-role helicopter, Wildcat.
The programme involved a deck landing training exercise, which was conducted for a period of two weeks on a day and night basis.
Royal Navy executive officer lieutenant commander Hugh Botterill said: "Working on-board an operational warship does bring pressure, but that often brings the best from people; we’ve risen to the challenge and succeeded."
The training was aimed at honing the 825 squadron’s trainee pilots and observer’s skills by exposing them to aviation at sea, which is different from the steady and controlled environment of a shore aerodrome.
HMS Diamond’s bridge teams, aircraft controllers, and flight deck crews also underwent training to operate during adverse maritime climates, during day and at night.
Professional trainers from the Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) organisation were brought in to assist with training aboard the ship.
It also included assessing and enhancing Diamond’s ability to combat fires in the galley, and Steering Gear Breakdown, or to conduct replenishment at sea, to demonstrate the destroyer’s ability to deploy and remain sea-borne for longer.
The third 152.4m-long Daring-class air-defence destroyer was constructed by BAE systems, and was launched in 2007.
It was deployed in the Middle East Area of Operations in 2012, and had been a part of Operation Recsyr in February 2014, where it escorted MV Ark Futura carrying chemical agents from Syria.
Last year, HMS Diamond went through a capability upgrade period (CUP) to upgrade its artillery and communications system.
Image: HMS Diamond at sea during training. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.