HMS Diamond ready to return to the Red Sea?

Yesterday on social media, interesting images of the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Diamond (D34) circulated. The destroyer, anchored at Gibraltar, was replenished with Aster 15/30 missiles (the exact number is unknown), likely in preparation for its return to the Red Sea. The ship was deployed in the Red Sea for two months, during which it shot down at least 8 Houthi drones.

HMS Diamond’s primary role is to provide her fellow ships with air defence using the formidable Sea Viper anti-air missile system – detecting enemy threats at range, interrogating them, and neutralising them if required.
Outside of the air defence role, HMS Diamond is a versatile and capable platform with the ability to carry out a wide range of war-fighting and constabulary duties, ranging from counter-narcotics boarding operations, acting as a task group flagship or providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

It’s significant to note that despite efforts by various navies to find solutions, there is still no practical option for reloading VLS cells at sea and the ships can only be replenished with missiles in port using cranes and trained personnel. This could pose a problem in the event of a large-scale conflict where replenishment stations are limited and distant from the operational area (any reference to the Pacific Ocean theater is not coincidental).

In any case, it’s likely that the ship will leave Gibraltar in the coming days to return to the Red Sea via the Suez Canal.

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