UK destroyer HMS Dragon returns home after drills

Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon returned to Portsmouth on Thursday, November 2, wrapping up a series of exercises.

Upon returning home, the destroyer fired a rare 17-gun salute to hail the First Sea Lord’s presence in Portsmouth.

The number of guns fired designates the seniority of the recipient – in this case Admiral Sir Philip Jones, the Head of the Royal Navy. Her Majesty the Queen would receive 19.

HMS Dragon took part in exercises off the South West coast and off the coast of Scotland and met up with future flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth for the first time off the UK coast.

The aircraft carrier is on her second phase of sea trials. Five personnel from HMS Queen Elizabeth spent several days on board the destroyer to hone their skills in the operations room – ready to take back to the carrier.

HMS Dragon also worked with her fellow Portsmouth-based ship to help her test several of her systems.

HMS Dragon is now set to go into a short period of maintenance at Portsmouth Naval Base before returning to operations in 2018.