The Queen’s Dragon – Destroyer helps new carrier through training

The Royal Navy’s future flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth and Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon have met up for the first time off the UK’s South Coast.

The aircraft carrier is on her second phase of sea trials while HMS Dragon is on her way back to her home port of Portsmouth following a series of exercises in Scotland and the South West.

Five personnel from HMS Queen Elizabeth spent several days on board the destroyer to hone their skills in the operations room – ready to take back to the carrier.

HMS Dragon also worked with her fellow Portsmouth-based ship to help her test several of her systems.

HMS Dragon’s Navigating Officer Lieutenant Glyn Duffell said: “We rendezvoused with HMS Queen Elizabeth at 0630 today to provide her with assistance during her sea trials.

"On completion we took the opportunity to take a picture of the first time a Type 45 destroyer and our new aircraft carrier have sailed together – the first time of many to come.

“It’s good to put that skill of making a close approach to the carrier into practice. All of the bridge team feel privileged to have been on the first Type 45 destroyer to have sailed with the nation’s future flagship.”

All of the bridge team feel privileged to have been on the first Type 45 destroyer to have sailed with the nation’s future flagship.

Lieutenant Glyn Duffell

Type 45 destroyers will provide air defence capability to the aircraft carrier once she is commissioned and sails as part of a carrier task group on operations.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to be at sea for at least a month while she tests her capability before being officially handed over to the Royal Navy by the end of the year.

HMS Dragon will return to Portsmouth Naval Base where she will go into a short period of maintenance before returning to operations in 2018.