Two weeks of intensive training with all manner of air power means Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond is at the top of her game on patrol in the eastern Mediterranean…

The Portsmouth-based air defence warship and her 200 crew have been tested by fighter jets including Tornados, Typhoons and F16s, plus E3 surveillance aircraft and Voyager transporters in the skies above and around Cyprus. And just for good measure, she tried her hand at anti-submarine warfare – aided by one of the Royal Navy’s hunter-killer submarines.

The destroyer made extensive use of the facilities and equipment at Britain’s bases in Cyprus. The variety of aircraft using the airspace over and around the area tested the team in the ship’s operations room – especially the Fighter Controllers, whose job is to direct friendly fighters to intercept targets. They also control congested skies, observe and direct numerous different aircraft and operate with other UK forces.

“All this proves our ability to deploy, operate and sustain ourselves for however long is required,” said Commander Ben Keith, HMS Diamond’s Commanding Officer. “Type 45 destroyers are one of the cornerstones of our modern navy and this training enables us to demonstrate our ability to exercise and operate with armed forces both internationally and across defence.

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