Jet skis simulate ‘swarm attack’ on HMS Diamond

Jet skis simulate an attack on HMS Diamond
Jet skis simulate an attack on HMS Diamond
The HMS Queen Elizabeth photo was on the Royal Navy website.

Anger as Portsmouth is superimposed on Gosport in Royal Navy website photo

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SKIPPING across the water towards one of the Royal Navy’s newest warships, these light and nimble speedboats don’t look like much of a threat.

But the small vessels are preparing a massed attack on the Type 45 destroyer – one which can be difficult to fend off.

Fortunately this well-planned attack is part of a series of war games off the Scottish coast.

The exercise is designed to test the abilities of HMS Diamond, Westminster and Illustrious in fending off the smaller foes.

Lieutenant Commander Mickey Rooney, HMS Westminster’s weapon engineer officer, said: ‘Send a jet against us, bring it on. Sea Wolf [missiles] will take care of it. I’m much more worried about a lot of jetskis.

‘We knew what was coming and we knew there was only so much we could do.

‘It was an epic sight; our guns blazing.

‘The helicopter was shooting away and we were throwing the ship around.

‘Some of my lads said it was the best day they’d spent in the navy.’

Known in the military as the asymmetric threat, small boats have occasionally been able to inflict massive damage on much larger or more powerful vessels.

One example is an attack on USS Cole, which killed 17 sailors.

Al-Qaeda suicide bombers sailed a small boat near the destroyer and detonated explosive charges.

Since then, navies around the world have bolstered their firepower to deal with such threats.

As swarms of jetskis gathered, sailors on board HMS Westminster watched through an infra-optic camera system, then readied for battle with all guns manned.

The ship’s 815 Naval Air Squadron Lynx helicopter was also sent into the sky.

Up to 30 fast craft at a time came charging out of lochs and inlets at the ships and proved to be an incredibly challenging foe for all the warships simply because of numbers.

The warships are now on their way home to Portsmouth after completing the exercise.