NEW Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon will make her first entry into Portsmouth next week sporting a ferocious red dragon on her bow.
The distinctive beast was painted on the £1bn warship during her construction but will have to be removed before the ship becomes operational as it stands out at sea.
Following three years of sea trials, Dragon will be handed over to the Royal Navy at Portsmouth Naval Base on Wednesday.
The warship – the fourth of six new state-of-the-art destroyers built for the navy by BAE Systems – will pass the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth at approximately 8.30am.
The White Ensign will be raised for the first time during a ceremony at the naval base at 2.30pm.
Dragon’s captain, Commander Darren Houston, said: ‘For me, this is my first command. It’s a huge privilege and an honour to be the first commanding officer of Dragon.
‘We’re really looking forward to coming to our base port of Portsmouth for the first time and I’m sure lots of people, families and friends will be there to welcome us in. It’s going to be a great occasion.’