Royal Navy destroyer HMS Diamond is returning home early from a deployment to the Persian Gulf after experiencing propeller problems.
The Type 45 destroyer was forced to leave the gulf despite sailors’ efforts to repair the ship at sea, a Times report on November 23 said.
The problems are reportedly so serious that they cannot be resolved in a dry dock in Bahrain and will require the ship to return to Portsmouth.
Diamond started her deployment in September 2017 and was not expected to return home before May 2018.
Diamond’s propeller issues are not connected to the engine problems previously experienced by Type 45 destroyers while operating in the warmer waters of the gulf.
While this is not the first time for a Type 45 destroyer to break down at sea, it is the first time since 1980 that the Royal Navy has no warship escort in the gulf.
UK has maintained a permanent presence in the Persian Gulf with two escorts deployed to the region. This practice was reduced to keeping a single major warship, either a Type 23 frigate or a Type 45 destroyer, in the region. With HMS Diamond en route home, the UK will now be without a frontline warship in the gulf, east of Suez.
With the other five destroyers in Portsmouth for maintenance or propulsion issue repairs, the only RN warship close enough to fill the gap is the HMS Ocean which is on the return leg of her Mediterranean deployment. A deployment which will also be the ship’s final one before it is decommissioned next year.