In this remarkable image (above), which was taken on the bridge of HMS Diamond, the Daring Class (Type 45) destroyer of the Royal Navy launches a Sea Viper missile in the Red Sea during a Houthi attack on international shipping. Photo: Royal Navy/UK MoD.
According to US Central Command the Houthis, on 9.1.24, launched drones and missile into southern Red Sea shipping lanes where numerous merchant vessels were sailing. US Navy Super Hornet carrier jets from the carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, along with three USN destroyers (USS Mason, USS Gravely and USS Laboon) plus HMS Diamond responded.
Eighteen combat drones & three missiles (one anti-ship ballistic, two anti-ship cruise missile) were shot down. All of the weapons were supplied by Iran to the Houthi rebels who control part of Yemen and have been engaged in a war with the United Nations-recognised national government for some years.
Also seen here in this Photo News Special is the Operations Room of HMS Diamond, using infrared lighting to protect the eyesight of the sailors on watch as they defend merchant shipping in the Red Sea from Houthi missile and drone attack.
The sailors are wearing anti-flash hoods, gauntlets and overalls which are designed to protect them if their ship is hit and there is an explosion and/or fire.
HMS Diamond’s key capability is its anti-air missile system, with its extremely powerful Sampson radar, which is mounted on the destroyer’s mainmast (a large revolving ball adorned with ‘spikes’).
The Sampson spots incoming drones and missiles, which are then shot down with the Sea Viper missiles (launched from a silo on the ship’s forecastle, also visible in this image of the ship patrolling the Red Sea) or via other defensive systems.
Both the above images are also courtesy of the Royal Navy/UK MoD.