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HMS Dragon

HMS Dragon

HMS Dragon is the fourth of the Royal Navy's six Type 45 destroyers and was launched on 7 November 2008 by her sponsor, Mrs Susie Boissier. After successfully completing extensive trials, Dragon was formally commissioned on 20 April 2012. Only 11 months later, after a successful firing of a Sea Viper missile, BOST and a material readiness package she sailed for her maiden deployment on 19 March 2013 returning in November to her base port in Portsmouth.  

Dragon successfully integrated into the Gulf theatre of operations, working closely with other UK and international partners to promote security in the region and keep the trade flowing through the Straits of Hormuz.

HMS Dragon's mission was extended by a month when she was repositioned to the Eastern Mediterranean to demonstrate the flexibility of deployed maritime forces and to ensure the protection of UK interests, which includes the defence of our Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus.

Given her name, the ship is proudly affiliated with the Welsh capital Cardiff, which she visited for the first time in the spring of 2012 and plans to do so again in the spring of 2014.

The City of York has also done Dragon a great honour in accepting the Royal Navy's request for York to become her second affiliated city.

York has a long history of supporting the ships of the Royal Navy and was affiliated to HMS York from her commissioning on 20 June 1982 until she decommissioned on 27 September 2012.

The city knows destroyers well and it is fitting that Dragon can continue the relationship established by the Type 42.

COMMANDING OFFICER

Having witnessed at first hand recently the unit at Operational Sea Training, I sense the drive, energy and enthusiasm within the team onboard that are ready for the challenges ahead.

Captain Lower upon taking Command of HMS Dragon.

Iain Lower

Iain Lower
RANK:
Captain
JOINED:
HMS Dragon 20/12/12
SPECIALISATION:
Warfare
PREVIOUS UNITS:
HMS Liverpool, Southampton, Leeds Castle, Shoreham, Gloucester
Military experience

Captain Iain Lower joined the Royal Navy in 1990. Following junior officer appointments he navigated HMS Liverpool conducting disaster relief on Montserrat and was the Operations Officer of HMS Southampton tasked as the Carrier Escort in the Indian Ocean supporting operations ashore in Afghanistan.

He has commanded 3 ships; HMS Leeds Castle, the Falkland Islands Patrol Vessel, completing her final South Atlantic patrol and return to home waters; HMS Shoreham, a minehunter; and, on promotion to Commander in 2007, HMS Gloucester, an air defence destroyer, which included a rewarding return to the South Atlantic as the Commander of the Maritime Task Group.

A graduate of the Advanced Command and Staff Course, shore appointments include; the lead instructor on the PWO Course, the Above Water Warfare Officer’s Career Manager and 12 months on the Naval Staff Strategy team in London for SDSR 2010.

Latterly he was Naval Assistant to the First Sea Lord.

Captain Lower assumed command of HMS Dragon and with it the post of Captain Above Water Warfare in December 2012.

Iain is married with 3 school aged children. He coaches a boy’s rugby team and skis in the winter and sails and scuba dives in the summer. He is also a passionate fly fisherman.


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WEAPONS SYSTEM

WEAPONS SYSTEM

TYPE 45 DESTROYER
Type 45 destroyer
  • 30mm Gun
    Medium Calibre gun system
    30mm Gun

  • 30mm Gun
    Medium Calibre gun system
    30mm Gun

  • 4.5Mk8 Gun
    medium calibre weapon system
    Mk8 4.5 Gun

    If you're looking for punch and firepower, then the 4.5in main gun, found on the forecastle of all the Royal Navy's frigates and destroyers, is the most obvious provider. Even in an age of missiles, there's still a need for a weapon to pulverise enemy positions and demoralise the foe - and the 4.5in gun has done so in the Falklands and Iraq. The gun can fire up to two dozen high explosive shells weighing more than 40kg (80lbs) at targets more than a dozen miles away - and nearly 18 miles if special extended-range shells are used. In various forms, the 4.5in has been the Navy's standard medium gun since before World War 2, embodied today by the Mk8 which has been in service since the early 1970s. There are two types of Mk8 used by the Fleet. The older Mod 0 (with its curved turret), which is gradually being replaced, and the angular Mod 1 (nicknamed Kryten after the robot on the sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf) which is harder for enemy radar to pick up. The main purpose of the gun is Naval Gunfire Support – artillery bombardment of shore targets. In this role the gun is capable of firing the equivalent of a six-gun shore battery. The Mk8 can also be used effectively against surface targets at sea.

  • Lynx Mk8
    Helicopter weapons system
    Lynx Mk8

    The Lynx truly is a jack of all trades, capable to taking on enemy ships (with Sea Skua missiles), enemy submarines (with Sting Ray torpedoes or depth charges), and smaller surface targets courtesy of machine-gun pods or sniper rifles. It can carry a Royal Marines boarding team, who abseil rapidly down ropes on to ships below, and regularly conducts surveillance and reconnaissance missions using its dazzling array of sensors, cameras and recording equipment. The Lynx is the backbone of the Fleet Air Arm and front-line operations by the frigate and destroyer fleets, operating over the ice of Antarctica and the sands of the Gulf, the expanse of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, the confines of the Strait of Gibraltar or English Channel

  • Phalanx
    Short range machine gun
    Short range machine gun

    Throwing up an impenetrable wall of fire, Phalanx is one of the deadly last lines of defence for Britain's warships. It is fitted to Type 42 and Type 45 destroyers and Bay, Wave and Fort Victoria-class ships in the RFA Capable of engaging targets around one mile away, Phalanx is a radar-controlled Gatling gun which fires 20mm shells, spewing out 3,000 rounds a minute. Like Goalkeeper, it is designed to engage incoming enemy aircraft and missiles if they penetrated a ship or task group's outer ring of defences such as Sea Viper or Sea Dart. During Operation Telic, Phalanx guns were removed from ships and were crewed by sailors defending Basra airport, the hub of British operations in southern Iraq. The guns saw extensive action against incoming rockets and mortars fired by insurgents.

  • Phalanx
    Short range machine gun
    Short range machine gun

    Throwing up an impenetrable wall of fire, Phalanx is one of the deadly last lines of defence for Britain's warships. It is fitted to Type 42 and Type 45 destroyers and Bay, Wave and Fort Victoria-class ships in the RFA Capable of engaging targets around one mile away, Phalanx is a radar-controlled Gatling gun which fires 20mm shells, spewing out 3,000 rounds a minute. Like Goalkeeper, it is designed to engage incoming enemy aircraft and missiles if they penetrated a ship or task group's outer ring of defences such as Sea Viper or Sea Dart. During Operation Telic, Phalanx guns were removed from ships and were crewed by sailors defending Basra airport, the hub of British operations in southern Iraq. The guns saw extensive action against incoming rockets and mortars fired by insurgents.

  • Sea Viper
    Surface to Air missile system
    Sea viper

    Sea Viper is the punch of the Type 45 destroyers, the very reason the ships exist - and the reason why that main mast is so tall. The missile provides all-round defence – not just for the destroyer but for an entire naval task group - against all aerial threats some 70 miles away. It races towards its target at speeds in excess of Mach Four (over 3,000mph) using a series of tiny jets to manoeuvre, carrying out sharp turns at G forces no human could endure. The system comprises Sampson radar (the spinning egg atop the Type 45’s main mast), a Combat Management System, long-range radar, the Sylver missile-launching system on the destroyer's forecastle and Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles with ranges up to 20 and 75 miles respectively. Until January 28 2009 – the date of the arrival of the first Type 45, HMS Daring, in Portsmouth – Sea Viper was known as PAAMS: Principal Anti-Air Missile System. The missiles were tested at France's missile range, the Centre d’Essais de Lancement des Missiles on Île du Levant, off Toulon, using a special trials barge, Longbow, before the first successful firing from Type 45. That came off the Outer Hebrides in September 2010 at the Benbecula ranges, where HMS Dauntless successfully shot down a drone target.

ABOUT THE UNIT

KEY STATISTICS


Pennant

D35

Displacement

8,000tonnes

Complement

190personnel

Length

152Metres

Beam

21.2metres

Draught

5.3metres

Top Speed

30+knots

Range (Nautical)

7,000nautical miles

Launch Date

17/11/08

Commissioned date

20/04/12

TAKE A LOOK

HMS Dragon

UNITS IN TIME


HMS Dragon HISTORY

TRACK THE HISTORY OF SHIPS NAMED HMS Dragon
  • Ship History

    The first HMS Dragon was a 38-gun fourth rate frigate, bearing in mind that a ‘frigate’ in those days referred to a method of construction rather than a role as it is today. Built in Chatham she was launched in 1647. By 1677 her armament had increased to 46 guns and in 1690 she was rebuilt at Deptford Dockyard as a 46-gun fourth rate ship of the line. In 1707 she was rebuilt for a second time at Cuckold’s Point yard to a fourth rate of 50 guns. She ended her career when she was wrecked in 1711 off Alderney.

  • Battle honours

    Portland, Gabbard, Scheveningen 1653 Lowestoft 1655 Four Days Battle, Orfordness 1666 Bugia 1671 Barfleur 1692

  • 1715

    This 50-gun Fourth rate ship was built in 1711 and was originally named HMS Ormonde (1711) until she was renamed in 1915. Built by Ackworth, Woolwich Dockyard to the 1706 Establishment of dimensions she was finally launched on 18th October 1711. She served in the Royal Navy until 1733 when she was broken up.

  • Ship History

    HMS Dragon (1736) was a 60-gun fourth rate ship of the line. She captured more than 20 merchantmen valued at over £100,000 and took part in the 1744 Battle of Toulon before being scuttled in 1757 to form part of a breakwater.

  • Battle Honours

    Toulon 1744

  • Ship History

    HMS Dragon (1760) was a 74-gun Bellona class, third rate ship of the line built for the Royal Navy. She was ordered on 20th December 1757, assembled at Deptford Dockyard and launched on 14th March 1760. During her career she took part in the siege of Havannah in 1762 and from 1781 was employed on harbour service. She ended her naval life and was sold out of service in 1784.

  • Battle Honours

    Belleisle 1761 Martinique, Havana 1762

  • Ship History

    HMS Dragon (1798) was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line. She was designed by Sir William Rule and was the only ship that was built to her draught. She was refitted in 1814 and was renamed HMS Fame in 1842 before being broken up in 1850.

  • Battle Honours

    Egypt 1801 Calder's Action 1805

  • Ship History

    A 6-gun wooden paddle, second rate frigate, this HMS Dragon was built in 1845 and served in the Baltic during the Crimean war before eventually being sold in 1865.

  • Battle Honours

    Baltic 1854-1855

  • Ship History

    HMS Dragon (1878) was a Doterel Class 6-gun screw sloop, built for the Royal Navy and was launched in 1878. She was a propeller-driven sloop of war built during the introduction of steam engines in the 19th century. The term screws referred to its propellers which differentiated them from paddle-wheel driven vessels. She was employed in the suppression of the slave trade in the Gulf and East Coast of Africa. She was eventually sold in 1892.

  • Battle Honours

    Suez 1882

  • Ship History

    This Banshee Class torpedo boat destroyer was armed with a 12-pounder gun and two torpedo tubes. She was capable of speeds of up to 27 knots, making her one of the fastest ships of her time. She served most of her time in the Mediterranean before being sold off in 1912.

  • Ship History

    The last HMS Dragon (D46) was Danae Class Cruiser built for the Royal Navy also saw service in the Polish Navy as ORP Dragon. Prior to WWII she took part in the Russian Civil War as part of a task force aiding independent Latvia And Estonia against Bolsheviks and German forces. During WWII the ship was initially attached to the 7th Cruiser Squadron of the Northern Patrol operating against German U-boats in the area of the Shetlands. She ended her Royal Navy career on 15th January 1943 when she was handed over to the Polish Navy where she was renamed as ORP Dragon and manned by a Polish crew.

  • Ship History

    The current HMS Dragon (D35) is the fourth Type 45 ‘D’ Class or Air Defence Destroyers that have been built for the Royal Navy. Dragon was launched from the slipway at Govan on 17th November 2008 by her ship’s sponsor Mrs Susie Boissier. Dragon’s capabilities centre around her Sampson multi-function radar that can detect targets out to 400 km and the PAAMS missile system.

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