HMS Dragon (D35)

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HMS Dragon
HMS Dragon in 2011
United Kingdom
OrderedDecember 2000
BuilderBVT Surface Fleet
Yard number1064[3]
Laid down19 December 2005
Launched17 November 2008
Sponsored byMrs. Susie Boissier
Commissioned20 April 2012
Motto"We yield but to St George"
StatusIn active service, as of June 25,2021
General characteristics
Class and typeType 45 Guided missile destroyer
Displacement8,000[5] to 8,500 t (8,400 long tons; 9,400 short tons)[6][7][8]
Length152.4 m (500 ft 0 in)
Beam21.2 m (69 ft 7 in)
Draught7.4 m (24 ft 3 in)
Installed power
SpeedIn excess of 30 kn (56 km/h; 35 mph)[4]
RangeIn excess of 7,000 nautical miles (13,000 km) at 18 kn (33 km/h)[4]
Complement191[10] (accommodation for up to 235)
Sensors and
processing systems
Electronic warfare
& decoys
Aircraft carried
  • 1–2 × Lynx Wildcat, armed with:
    • 4 × anti-ship missiles, or
    • 2 × anti-submarine torpedoes
  • or
  • 1 × Westland Merlin,[9] armed with:
    • 4 × anti-submarine torpedoes
Aviation facilities
  • Large flight deck
  • Enclosed hangar

HMS Dragon is the fourth ship of the Type 45 or Daring-class air-defence destroyers built for the Royal Navy. She was launched in November 2008 and commissioned on 20 April 2012.[17]


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.[18] Her sponsor was Mrs Susie Boissier, wife of Vice Admiral Paul Boissier, Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet and Chief of Staff.[19] She was fitted out at Scotstoun.

Sea trials

Dragon commenced her first set of contractor's sea trials on 5 November 2010.[20]

Dragon entered her home port of Portsmouth for the first time on 31 August 2011.[21]

Operational service

Dragon off Gibraltar in 2013
Dragon operating with HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2019

Dragon joined the Royal Navy Surface Fleet on Friday, 20 April 2012.[22] On Friday 27 April, she made her maiden visit to Liverpool, staying for three days. She 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 Dragon was sailing with the USS Nimitz carrier group in the Arabian Sea, acting as the main point ship for aircraft control.[23][24] In August 2013, several Typhoons from No. 6 Squadron RAF were exercising with Dragon and US fighters in the Gulf.[25] It sailed westward to the Eastern Mediterranean.[26]

In April 2014, Dragon was deployed to waters north of Scotland, after sailing from Portsmouth to track the Russian warship Vice-Admiral Kulakov.[27] She was part of the Royal Navy's Atlantic Patrol Tasking in late 2014, visiting places such as the South Georgia Islands, the Falkland Islands, and a transit through the Panama Canal.[28]

October 2016, Dragon tracked two Russian corvettes in the Atlantic Ocean and Bay of Biscay during a major deployment of Russian naval forces near the United Kingdom.[29]

On 11 February 2017, Dragon rescued the fourteen crew of the dismasted and adrift British yacht Clyde Challenger in the Atlantic Ocean 610 nautical miles (1,130 km) south west of Land's End, Cornwall.[30] Clyde Challenger was subsequently scuttled.[31]

A 26 November 2018 press-release claimed Dragon discovered a suspicious boat while on operation in the Middle East. Sailors and Royal Marines boarded the vessel, and found 148 bags containing 3,048 kg of hashish.[32]

15 March 2019, Dragon made its seventh drug seizure: 224 kg of heroin from a fishing vessel in the Arabian Sea.[33] During her time in the Arabian Sea, Dragon made eight drug busts and seized over eighteen tons of narcotics, a record for the number of successful busts and the total weight of drugs seized by a Royal Navy ship in the Middle East.

As of March 2019, HMS Montrose will take over her current patrol role in the Middle East.[34] HMS Montrose replaced Dragon in the Persian gulf in March 2019.


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.[35]



  1. The Harpoon missile is to be fitted to four of the six ships. HMS Duncan is to be the first.[13]


  1. "Royal Navy Bridge Card, February 2011" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 April 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  2. "World Shipping Register - Ship Index". Archived from the original on 31 May 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2009.
  3. "HMS Dragon at Clydebuilt database". Archived from the original on 24 September 2006. Retrieved 21 June 2009.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 "HMS Daring - Type 45 facts by Royal Navy.pdf". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  5. "Type 45 Destroyer". Royal Navy. Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  6. "HMS Daring leaves Sydney after spectacular week of celebrations". Royal Navy. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  7. "For Queen and Country". Navy News (July 2012): 8. One hundred or so miles west of the largest city of Abidjan lies the fishing port of Sassandra, too small to accommodate 8,500-tonnes of Type 45.
  8. "HMS Duncan joins US Carrier on strike operations against ISIL". Navy News. Royal Navy. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015. As well as supporting the international effort against the ISIL fundamentalists – the 8,500-tonne warship has also joined the wider security mission in the region.
  9. "Air Defence Destroyer (T45)". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 31 October 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2007.
  10. Royal Navy (11 July 2013). A Global Force 2012/13 (PDF). Newsdesk Media. ISBN 978-1-906940-75-1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2018. Complement as of 24 April 2013
  11. "Raytheon Press Release" (PDF). 8 March 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 March 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2008.
  12. "Jane's Electro-Optic Systems". 28 October 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  13. "HMS Duncan (D37)". Royal Navy.
  14. "Fleet to get the latest in electronic surveillance" (PDF). DESider. Ministry of Defence. September 2012. p. 18. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 September 2012.
  15. "UK to buy Shaman CESM for Seaseeker SIGINT programme". IHS Janes Defense. 29 June 2014.
  16. "HMS Daring". Wärtsilä. Archived from the original on 28 October 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  17. "Dragon shows a flare for action during weapons trials in the Channel". Royal Navy. 12 March 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  18. "HMS Dragon launched". WalesOnline. 17 November 2008. Retrieved 17 November 2008.
  19. "Thousands line the Clyde to see HMS Dragon roar for first time". The Herald webpages. Retrieved 23 February 2009.[permanent dead link]
  20. "HMS Dragon off on sea trials in the Clyde". 5 November 2010. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
  21.[bare URL]
  22. "HMS Dragon Joins the Fleet". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  23. "Nimitz and company help Dragon prepare for new RN Carriers - Royal Navy".
  24. "Protecting the defenders on the high seas".
  25. "Navy News - Reporting from the Fleet". Archived from the original on 30 April 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  26. "Navy News - Reporting from the Fleet". Archived from the original on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  27. "RAF fighter jets scrambled to investigate Russian planes". BBC. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  28. "HMS Dragon leaves Portsmouth on deployment - Royal Navy".
  29. Lusher, Adam (20 October 2016). "British warships tracking Russian fleet heading for the Channel". The Independent. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  30. "Fourteen rescued by Royal Navy warship after racing yacht becomes stranded in Atlantic Ocean". Independent Television News. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  31. "Sailing yacht Clyde Challenger abandoned at storm in Atlantic Ocean". Maritime Herald. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  32. "HMS Dragon: Three tonnes of hashish seized in the Gulf". The BBC. 26 November 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  33.[bare URL]
  34.[bare URL]
  35. Flynn, Jessica (18 May 2016). "Welsh dragon returns to the bows of Cardiff warship". Wales Online. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  36. "Navy destroyer linked to Cardiff". BBC News. 24 May 2007. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
  37. "Yes Minster… York takes on HMS Dragon as her affiliate". Navy News. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 19 August 2015.
  38. "Worshipful Company of Plaisterers visit". Royal Navy website. Archived from the original on 29 June 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
  39. 39.0 39.1 "LEM Draig: The Newsletter for HMS Dragon" (PDF). Royal Navy. Retrieved 2 March 2018.

External links

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