HMS Dragon, a Type 45 destroyer, had been out of action for a year while undergoing a major refit and upgrade. She is now due for sea trials.
According to the Royal Navy:
“Dragon was rededicated in a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base in front of hundreds of guests including friends and families and members of the ship’s affiliate organisations.
Improvements to the ship – carried out by BAE Systems – have included upgrades to weapons, IT, communications and marine engineering systems. Her huge rudders have also been overhauled.
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.”
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.
My sailors and I are rightfully proud of her return to the fleet and welcomed the opportunity to celebrate this fantastic occasion with Dragon’s sponsor, Mrs Boissier, our families and friends.”
The National Audit Office reported that, during an “intensive attack”, a single Type 45 could simultaneously track, engage and destroy more targets than five Type 42 destroyers operating together.
After the launch of Daring on 1 February 2006 Admiral Sir Alan West, a former First Sea Lord, stated that it would be the Royal Navy’s most capable destroyer ever, as well as the world’s best air-defence ship. The reduction in the number to be procured from twelve, then to eight and eventually down to six (in 2008) was controversial.
Dragon will now undergo a series of intensive sea trials in UK waters to prepare for her third overseas deployment.