Gibraltar could not be in safer hands!

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Gibraltar could not be in safer hands!

by PANORAMA reporter

Gibraltar and British Gibraltar Territorial Waters was certainly in good hands over the long weekend. HMS Diamond, the world’s most advanced warship of its kind, paid Gibraltar her first visit after being commissioned into the RN fleet last year.

The rock was the first port of call for the Royal Navys new revolutionary Type 45 destroyer the third of its kind which cost 1bn to build. The vessel is on her first maiden 6 month operational deployment to the Middle East. HMS Diamond will be carrying out maritime security patrols in the Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden and the Gulf; she will take over patrols in the area from her sister ship HMS Daring.

T

he presence in British Gibraltar Waters of the Royal Navys newest and most expensive modern floating fighting machine is another example of the importance that is still attached by the British Government and the Ministry of Defence to the forward strategic location of the Rock, including the various port and other facilities Gibraltar provides to visiting RN vessels.

Over the weekend this impressive and formidable looking floating power-house was seen carrying out what looked like helicopter manoeuvres out in the hazy Gibraltar bay with its own on board air-borne asset, the Lynx multi-purpose military helicopter. Later HMS Diamond was seen entering admiralty waters and berthed by the Tower.

The visit of HMS Diamond also comes at a time of heighten tension in the bay, with the involvement by the Royal Navys Gib based squadron who are responsible for the security and integrity of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW).

The Gib Squadron together with other local sea borne units from the RGP and GDP have been actively involved in the current fishing dispute.

A Navy visit is always welcome. HMS Diamond is the largest and most powerful air defence destroyer ever built for the Royal Navy. Those in the same class as Diamond already in active service: HMS Daring which was commissioned in 2009 and HMS Dauntless only commissioned last year. The fourth, HMS Dragon, is expected to join the fleet later in September.

All the type 45 Destroyers are armed with high-tech Sea Viper anti-aircraft missiles and have a large flight deck that can accommodate helicopters the size of a Chinook as well as take onboard up to 700 people in the case of a civilian evacuation.

Gibraltar has always been proud of its very close links with all three British armed services, but particularly with the Royal Navy where there is a long history.

The Visit by any Royal Navel vessel is always a welcomed sight in British Gibraltar Waters, and the presence in Gibraltar Waters of HMS Diamond has been hugely welcomed.

20-06-12

Refer http://www.panorama.gi/localnews/headlines.php?action=view_article&article=8967&offset=0

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