Royal Navy destroyer fit for missions again

HMS Dragon, a Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer, is ready for new missions again as she completed a year-long overhaul.

A ceremony to officially mark the ship’s return to the front line took place in Portsmouth on Friday 8 July.

The destroyer has been out of action for a year undergoing modifications carried out by BAE Systems. The improvements included upgrades to weapons, IT, communications and marine engineering systems. Her rudders have also been overhauled and the ship sailed out to sea last month.

HMS Dragon also has a fresh coat of paint and her popular 12-ft tall decorative red Welsh dragons on her bow have been given a facelift.

Two Typhoon aircraft from the ship’s affiliate RAF unit – 11 Squadron – performed a flypast to mark the start of the ceremony.

Principal guest was Susie Boissier – the ship’s sponsor who launched the vessel on the Clyde in 2008.

Her Commanding Officer, Captain Craig Wood, said: “An upgraded and more capable HMS Dragon has emerged from the upkeep period – the result of a tremendous amount of work from across the Portsmouth enterprise.”

Dragon will now undergo a series of intensive sea trials in UK waters to prepare for her third overseas deployment.