Diamond set off from the Company’s Scotstoun yard this morning, with a combined BAE Systems and Royal Navy crew, as she embarked on the journey to her new home port of Portsmouth, where she will be formally handed over to the Royal Navy at a ceremony on Wednesday, 22 September. Scores of employees turned out to say farewell to the ship they have worked on since first steel was cut back in May 2005.
Angus Holt, UK Programmes Director at BAE Systems Surface Ships, said: “Diamond is a formidable ship and everyone involved can take great pride in the part they have played in her design and build. We are now moving to the next stage in our journey, as we use expertise developed to date to deliver effective long-term in-service support to Diamond and her sister ships to ensure they are available whenever and wherever the Royal Navy needs them.”
Commanding Officer of Diamond, Commander Ian Clark, said: “We've built strong links with the BAE Systems team over the last two years and the Ship's Company are now raring to take ownership of Diamond. The last few weeks have been busy completing our final preparations to ensure that we're ready for the challenge of transforming Diamond into an effective front-line warship, ready for operations anywhere in the world.”
BAE Systems is over half way through the programme to deliver six Type 45 destroyers by the end of 2013. The first of class, HMS Daring, entered service on 31 July and BAE Systems’ engineers are currently supporting the ship and her crew in preparation for her first operational deployment, while HMS Dauntless, the second of class, was handed over to the Royal Navy last December. The fourth ship, Dragon, will undertake her first sea trials in November, while outfit continues on Defender, the fifth ship in the class, launched only last October at the company’s Govan yard. The sixth and final ship, Duncan, will be launched on 11 October.
As Class Output Manager for the fleet, BAE Systems will also provide in-service support to the fleet. Working side by side with the Royal Navy at Portsmouth Naval Base, the company’s engineers will coordinate all aspects of repair, maintenance and support to improve ship availability and reduce through life support costs to enable the Royal Navy to meeting its operational commitments around the world.
The Type 45s will provide the backbone of the UK’s naval air defences for the next 30 years and beyond. The destroyers will be capable of carrying out a wide range of operations, including anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities, disaster-relief work and surveillance operations as well as high intensity war fighting.
Each destroyer will be able to engage a large number of targets simultaneously, and defend aircraft carriers or groups of ships, such as an amphibious landing force, against the strongest future threats from the air. The vessels will contribute a specialist air warfare capability to worldwide maritime and joint operations until 2040.
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