Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Navy ship HMS Diamond sets sail for voyage to Middle East

HMS Diamond
Image caption HMS Diamond was first commissioned into the Royal Navy's fleet last year

Royal Navy vessel HMS Diamond has set sail from Portsmouth on its maiden voyage.

The Type 45 destroyer, first commissioned into the fleet last year, left for the Middle East earlier.

The ship played a key role in Portsmouth's Diamond Jubilee weekend celebrations earlier this month.

The six-month deployment will see it replace sister ship HMS Daring in carrying out maritime security patrols, including countering piracy.

Commander Ian Clarke, commanding officer, said preparations for the first deployment have been "rigorous".

He said: "The ship's company has shown that this ship has the potential and capability to undertake the variety of likely scenarios we may encounter.

"Although this will be important for the ship and my people, this is not new business for the Royal Navy, which has had a continuous presence in the Gulf for many years."

Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond MP said: "The deployment of HMS Diamond marks another watershed for the Type 45 programme, with three of these highly capable destroyers now on operations worldwide.

"I wish her success in her Middle East deployment where the security of the international shipping lanes continues to be of the utmost importance."

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