Paul Rafferty, Type 45 Programme Director at BAE Systems’ Surface Ships business, said: “Dragon is the most advanced Type 45 destroyer delivered to date. Working in partnership with the MoD and the Royal Navy, we have incorporated lessons learned from the earlier build and in-service support of her sister ships. She is the first of the batch two destroyers, which include upgrades to systems onboard in line with technological developments, as we continue to deliver cutting-edge naval equipment to the Royal Navy.”
Braham added the “event is an exceptionally significant milestone and today’s acceptance off contract is representative of the remarkable progress 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. I would like to welcome HMS Dragon to Portsmouth – good luck to her and her crew.”
First steel was cut on Dragon in December 2005 and she was launched at the company’s Govan yard in November 2008. After undergoing an extensive sea trials programme, Dragon left the Clyde with a combined BAE Systems and Royal Navy crew for the final time on Saturday, arriving alongside at her new home port of Portsmouth yesterday morning.
As Class Output Manager for the fleet, BAE Systems also provides in-service support to the Type 45 destroyers, with the company’s engineers coordinating all aspects of repair, maintenance and support to improve ship availability and reduce through life support costs.
The Type 45s will provide the backbone of the UK’s naval air defences for the next 30 years and beyond. The destroyers will be capable of carrying out a wide range of operations, including anti-piracy and anti-smuggling activities, disaster relief work and surveillance operations as well as high intensity war fighting.
Each destroyer will be able to engage a large number of targets simultaneously, and defend aircraft carriers or groups of ships, such as an amphibious landing force, against the strongest future threats from the air. The vessels will contribute a specialist air warfare capability to worldwide maritime and joint operations.