UK Navy’s HMS Dragon floats out for the first time in seven months

13 January 2016 (Last Updated January 13th, 2016 18:30)

The UK Royal Navy's Daring-class Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon was floated out in Portsmouth Naval Base for the first time in seven months.

Dragon

The UK Royal Navy's Daring-class Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon was floated out in Portsmouth Naval Base for the first time in seven months.

HMS Dragon is currently undergoing a 12-month refurbishment programme, which commenced in July last year.

The refit programme is Dragon's first major maintenance period since the ship was launched in 2008.

"We have made significant improvements to communal spaces and living quarters, which will make a real difference to Dragon's sailors."

Upgrades include maintenance of features such as the electric propulsion system and enhancement of the artillery, and sensors and communications systems.

The 14-week-long docking period witnessed maintenance of the hull and underwater fittings, which was claimed to be the first such attempt at maintenance after Dragon's initial 140,000nm feat at sea. The ship also received a fresh coat of paint.

The destroyer is expected to join its fleet in June, following which it will be subjected to sea trials followed by an extensive training package to prepare for its future endeavours.

BAE Systems project manager Jon Bartholomew said: "HMS Dragon's return to the water marks a major milestone in her upkeep package and the culmination of a tremendous amount of work by all involved over the festive period.

"This un-docking is the latest in a series of successful projects BAE Systems' Fleet Time Engineering group, our T45 project team partners and the Royal Navy have delivered together as part of the HMNB Portsmouth maritime enterprise, and we look forward in earnest to delivering Dragon back to the fleet later this year."

HMS Dragon senior naval officer commander Joe Allfree said: "In addition to overhauling and upgrading the various propulsion and weapon systems, we have made significant improvements to communal spaces and living quarters, which will make a real difference to Dragon's sailors once we return to sea."

Dragon entered into service with the Royal Navy in 2012, and was deployed in the Middle East and South Atlantic.


Image: Image of HMS Dragon afloat at the dock. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.