We have proven once again that the Type 45 destroyer is a world-beating ship when it comes to air defence

Commander Ben Keith, the Commanding Officer of HMS Diamond

Just two and a half seconds after erupting from its silo, the 450kg Aster missile had accelerated to more than four times the speed of sound - otherwise known as Mach 4.

High over the seas, the missile manoeuvred at G-forces which no human being could withstand, to close in and destroy the target.

In this case the target was a Mirach drone heading through the skies of the Outer Hebrides at around 500mph.

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. During her time away, Daring visited 12 countries, steamed 50,000 miles and undertook 20 patrols of the Bab-al-Mandeb strait to reassure merchant vessels and keep the sea lanes open for trade.

HMNB Portsmouth

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Engineering Technician (Weapon Engineering)

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