DRAGON, the fourth Type 45 anti-air warfare destroyer built by BAE for the Royal Navy, has arrived in Portsmouth Naval Base, where she will be handed over to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) at a ceremony today, joining her sisters ships HMS DARING, HMS DAUNTLESS and HMS DIAMOND.
“DRAGON is the most advanced Type 45 destroyer delivered to date,” said Paul Rafferty, Type 45 Programme Director at BAE Systems’ Surface Ships business. “Working in partnership with the MOD and the Royal Navy, we have incorporated lessons learned from the earlier build and in-service support of her sister ships. She is the first of the batch two destroyers, which include upgrades to systems onboard in line with technological developments, as we continue to deliver cutting-edge naval equipment to the Royal Navy.”
First steel was cut on DRAGON in December 2005 and she was launched at the company’s Govan yard in November 2008. After undergoing extensive sea trials, DRAGON left the Clyde for the final time on Saturday August 27, arriving at her new home port of Portsmouth today, August 31.
The Type 45s will provide the backbone of the UK’s naval air defenses for the next 30 years and beyond. The destroyers will be capable of carrying out a wide range of operations, including anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities, disaster relief work and surveillance operations as well as high intensity war fighting.
Each destroyer will be able to engage a large number of targets simultaneously, and defend aircraft carriers or groups of ships, such as an amphibious landing force, against the strongest future threats from the air. The vessels will contribute a specialist air warfare capability to worldwide maritime and joint operations.
Here are some more photos of the DRAGON provided by BAE Systems