HMS Diamond in Portsmouth Harbour 070222 CREDIT PA IMAGES ALAMY cover image
HMS Diamond pictured alongside in Portsmouth Harbour (Picture: PA Images/Alamy).
Sea vessels

HMS Diamond's departure for NATO deployment delayed again

The Type 45 destroyer was due to set sail last week but Storm Eunice and repair work has delayed her departure.

HMS Diamond in Portsmouth Harbour 070222 CREDIT PA IMAGES ALAMY cover image
HMS Diamond pictured alongside in Portsmouth Harbour (Picture: PA Images/Alamy).

A Royal Navy destroyer that was due to deploy to the Mediterranean amid rising tensions with Russia has had her departure delayed again, almost a week after she was initially scheduled to depart the UK.

HMS Diamond was originally expected to sail from Portsmouth last week, with her departure initially delayed due to Storm Eunice.

Then on Monday, the Navy said the Type 45 destroyer required "minor repair" but was expected to leave soon.

But HMS Diamond was again unable to set sail on Wednesday morning as expected because of a "technical issue".

A Royal Navy spokesperson said: "Owing to a technical issue, HMS Diamond was unable to sail as planned this morning.

"The Type 45's advanced capabilities are internationally recognised and efforts are ongoing to prepare HMS Diamond for her upcoming deployment."

The delay to Diamond leaving Portsmouth means all six of the UK's Type 45 destroyers remain in port, with four vessels in Portsmouth and two in Birkenhead.

Tom Sharpe, a former Royal Navy commander, told the PA news agency that the issue highlights that the Navy has "not enough” ships, criticising "our inability to provide our allies with a suitable platform".

He added: "Criticising Type 45 numbers and reliability is old news and increasingly pointless until you really need one, like now, and there isn't one available.

"It's what happens if you replace 12 destroyers with six, or 16 ASW [Anti-Submarine Warfare] frigates with eight as is happening now.

"High-intensity conflict needs high-end kit. The Royal Navy has this, just not enough."

Once she does set sail, HMS Diamond will first take part in sea trials before heading to the Mediterranean where HMS Trent, a River-class offshore patrol vessel, has been conducting patrols with other NATO alliance members.