Royal Navy video shows Type 45 destroyer launch an Aster missile

The Royal Navy has released a video showing its Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond testing its Sea Viper missile system off the Scotland coast.

In the missile system test, the launched 450kg Aster missile flew four times the speed of sound and destroyed a drone target that simulated a projectile attack on the ship.

The Mirach drone target was approaching at around 500mph.

According to the Royal Navy, the test was a major milestone in the work-up period of the 7,500-tonne warship ahead of her deployment on operations later this year, and proves the Type 45 destroyer’s capability to defend herself and other ships around her from attack.

Commander Ben Keith, the commanding officer of HMS Diamond, 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.”

Sea Viper is the combination of the Sampson radar system – the distinctive spinning spiked ball on top of a Type 45 destroyer’s main mast – and the Aster missile system in a silo on the forecastle.

The system tracks aircraft and other objects across thousands of cubic miles of airspace, identifies threats, and destroys them when necessary.

The successful missile firing was the final tick in the box for HMS Diamond’s training package and marks the end of a busy few months for the ship and the men and women on board.

She will now return to Portsmouth for a final period of preparations before deploying later this year.

Diamond’s sister ship HMS Daring returned home to Portsmouth last week after a nine-month deployment to the Middle East protecting some of the world’s most vital shipping lanes.