Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer shines in ‘Thursday War’

Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond is fit for deployment again after completing six weeks of operational sea training off Plymouth.

The Portsmouth-based warship tested both personnel and equipment to make sure everything is ready for front-line duties.

It brings to an end eight months of trials, training, instruction and assessment following a comprehensive maintenance and upgrade package for the third of the RN’s six Type 45 air defence destroyers.

Witnessing the final day of assessment – a Thursday War, which replicates all out naval warfare on the eponymous weekday – was the UK’s Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Sir John Lorimer – who directs the nation’s bi and tri-service missions around the globe from the headquarters in Northwood.

Type 45s regularly come under his control – from missions off Syria which Diamond performed back in 2014, to one of the destroyers working with French or American carrier battle groups in the Gulf (HMS Defender is there presently).

The general saw Diamond’s sailors rewarded for their efforts; staff from the Flag Officer Sea Training organisation who run the assessment gave the destroyer a ‘very satisfactory’ score (most ships come through with a ‘pass’, a satisfactory).

Diamond is now attached to the JEF M – the UK’s new Joint Expeditionary Force (Maritime) which is at five days’ notice to deploy anywhere in the world.

The first JEF deployment will be exercises in the Med this autumn, replacing the Cougar deployment, the Fleet’s annual amphibious workout for the past few years.