HMS Dragon (D35)
HMS Dragon in 2011
|Builder:||BVT Surface Fleet|
|Laid down:||19 December 2005|
|Launched:||17 November 2008|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. Susie Boissier|
|Commissioned:||20 April 2012|
|Motto:||"We yield but to St George"|
|Status:||In active service, as of 2017|
|Class and type:||Type 45 Guided missile destroyer|
|Displacement:||8,000 to 8,500 t (8,400 long tons; 9,400 short tons)|
|Length:||152.4 m (500 ft 0 in)|
|Beam:||21.2 m (69 ft 7 in)|
|Draught:||7.4 m (24 ft 3 in)|
|Speed:||In excess of 30 kn (56 km/h; 35 mph)|
|Range:||In excess of 7,000 nautical miles (13,000 km) at 18 kn (33 km/h)|
|Complement:||191 (accommodation for up to 235)|
|Sensors and |
|Electronic warfare |
Dragon's construction began at the then BAE Systems Naval Ships (later BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions) yard at Scotstoun on the River Clyde in December 2005, and by December 2007 the bow section was in place on the Govan slipway for mating with the other modules. Dragon launched from the slipway at Govan on 17 November 2008 at 3:00pm. Her sponsor was Mrs Susie Boissier, wife of Vice Admiral Paul Boissier, Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet and Chief of Staff. She was fitted out at Scotstoun.
Dragon commenced her first set of contractor's sea trials on 5 November 2010.
Dragon entered her home port of Portsmouth for the first time on 31 August 2011.
Dragon joined the Royal Navy Surface Fleet on Friday, 20 April 2012. On Friday 27 April she made her maiden visit to Liverpool, staying for three days. She was opened to the public on Saturday 28 April, with visitors able to see the inside of the ship, including the operations room.
In August 2013, it was reported that Dragon was sailing with the USS Nimitz carrier group in the Arabian Sea, acting as the main point ship for aircraft control. In August 2013, several Typhoons from No. 6 Squadron RAF were exercising with Dragon and US fighters in the Gulf. It has sailed westwards to the Eastern Mediterranean.
In April 2014, Dragon was deployed to waters north of Scotland, after having sailed from Portsmouth, to track the Russian warship Vice-Admiral Kulakov. She was part of the Royal Navy's Atlantic Patrol Tasking in late 2014 in which she visited places such as the South Georgia Islands, the Falkland Islands and a transit through the Panama Canal.
In October 2016, Dragon was sent to track two Russian corvettes in the Atlantic during a major deployment of Russian naval forces near the United Kingdom.
On 11 February 2017, Dragon rescued the fourteen crew of the British yacht Clyde Challenger which had been dismasted and was adrift in the Atlantic Ocean 610 nautical miles (1,130 km) south west of Land's End, Cornwall. Clyde Challenger was subsequently scuttled.
On 26 November 2018 it was announced that Dragon was on an operation in the Middle East and had discovered a suspicious boat. Sailors and Royal Marines boarded the vessel and found 148 bags hidden on board containing a total of 3,048 kg of hashish.
On 15 March 2019 Dragon made its seventh drug seizure: 224 kg of heroin from a fishing vessel in the Arabian Sea. That time the crew laid out on their helicopter deck a banner with the ship's name on, and the seized drug bags to form the words "BREATHE / FIRE / #7". This is a record for the number of successful busts and the total weight of drugs seized by a Royal Navy ship in the Middle East.
Dragon features a red Welsh Dragon on each side of her bow, the only Royal Navy ship to be adorned in this way. The dragons were there when she was launched, but were removed in a 2011 refit. They were restored in 2016 following a fundraising campaign led by the British Warships Association.
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