HMS Dragon Arrives in Portsmouth
The Royal Navy’s latest, new Type 45 Destroyer, HMS Dragon, has sailed into Portsmouth today. The 7,500 tonne vessel has today been formally accepted from shipbuilder BAE Systems and will now undergo a series of tests before being declared ready for operations. Armed with the world-leading Sea Viper missile defence system, she is able to defend against multiple attacks from even the most sophisticated aircraft and anti-ship missiles, simultaneously approaching from any direction and at supersonic speeds.
HMS Dragon, which is affiliated to the city of Cardiff, is one of the six new Type 45 warships being built for the Royal Navy. She was launched in November 2008 at Govan shipyard in Glasgow and has since been carrying out sea trials in Scottish waters.
Head of Destroyers, Commodore Stephen Braham, said: “Remarkable progress is being made to date on the Type 45 Programme. Combining an all-electric power and propulsion systems and a world-class weapons system, the capabilities of HMS Dragon, like those of her in-service sister ships HMS Daring, HMS Dauntless, and HMS Diamond, represent a step-change for air defence in the UK, and will ensure that the Royal Navy remains one of the most powerful maritime forces in the world.”
2011 has been a successful year for the Type 45 project with this latest achievement for Dragon coming less than two months after entry into service of HMS Diamond, the third ship in the class.
These are truly impressive warships and each one is a powerful addition to the Royal Navy. However, each ship can only be in one place at any one time and the reduction in the number of frigates and destroyers is a severe constraint on the ability of the UK to project power and to conduct patrols in dangerous waters. The original plans were for a class of 12 of these ships but this was progressively cut to just six under the last government.