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Technical issue delays Royal Navy destroyer due to deploy amid Russia tensions

The Ministry of Defence previously announced that HMS Diamond would deploy to the Mediterranean ‘amid ongoing tensions with Russia’.

23 February 2022

A Royal Navy destroyer that has been tasked to deploy to the Mediterranean amid growing tensions with Russia has been delayed again, almost a week after it was initially scheduled to depart the UK.

HMS Diamond was initially due to leave its home base of Portsmouth on February 17, but its departure was first delayed due to Storm Eunice.

Then on Monday, a Ministry of Defence spokesperson confirmed the destroyer required “minor repairs” due to a defect on board.

She was then scheduled to leave Portsmouth on Wednesday morning, however remains alongside.

Royal Navy stock
All six of the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyers are currently alongside in either Portsmouth (pictured), and Birkenhead (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A Royal Navy spokesperson said on Wednesday: “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 HMS 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 frigates with eight as is happening now.

“High intensity conflict needs high end kit.

“The Royal Navy has this, just not enough.”

The Defence Select Committee warned in December 2021 that the “low availability of the UK’s Type 45 destroyers and recognised issues in their propulsion systems are a major cause for concern”.

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