HMS Diamond docks in Palma

HMS Diamond plays a vital role in safeguarding international waters  Credit: @UKDefenceinSpain 

The Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond is enjoying a well-deserved break in Palma following a successful six-month deployment in the Red Sea.

The 250-strong crew is taking a moment to rest and recuperate after playing a vital role in protecting maritime trade routes and combating drug trafficking. Their duties included deterring attacks by the Houthi militia, ensuring safe passage for merchant vessels, and keeping international waters secure.

The very best of teamwork

Commanding Officer Commander Peter Evans said: “The sailors onboard HMS Diamond have been fantastic – through the ten months Diamond has been away, they have demonstrated courage, professionalism and the very best of teamwork. Whether it be operating as part of the Carrier Strike Group within the Arctic Circle, hosting the UK Prime Minister onboard whilst alongside in Sweden, fighting in the Red Sea to protect merchant sea-farers lives, or conducting counter narcotic operations as part of Op Kipion; every success that Diamond has achieved for the RN and UK Defence is due to her Ships Company. We’re now really excited to be home with our friends and families, whose support has been absolutely critical to us on board.”

Sea Viper missile system

Last April, the Royal Navy warship used her world-class Sea Viper missile system to shoot down a missile fired by the Iranian-backed militia, which was targeting a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden. The crew also successfully shot down a Houthi drone in a different attack. In December and January, the destroyer came under fire in three separate attacks by Houthi rebels, successfully destroying nine drones using the Sea Viper missile system and guns. 

Illegal narcotics

On top of this, HMS Diamond also seized more than two tonnes of illegal drugs in a strike against traffickers in the Indian Ocean at the end of May. 

The Portsmouth-based warship forced a suspect to halt and then searched the vessel. Having initially ignored calls from the ship to stop, the craft was halted when the destroyer’s Wildcat helicopter appeared overhead along with both sea boats. That led to a nine-hour operation which saw Royal Marines from 42 Commando secure the vessel, to allow Diamond’s Royal Navy boarding team to search for any illicit cargo. An in-depth search of the vessel recovered numerous packages – found to be containing illegal narcotics upon subsequent testing aboard the destroyer. 

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Written by

Trelawney Bresic

Trelawney is a journalist and screenwriter. She began her career at the Euro Weekly News twenty years ago and is passionate about honest and compelling journalism. If you have a news story, don't hestitate to get in touch at