NEW Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon arrived into Portsmouth for the first time.
Around 100 people waved to the £1bn warship as she passed the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth at 8.30am sporting a large red dragon emblem which was painted on her starboard bow.
Dragon, which is the fourth of six new destroyers being built for the Royal Navy by BAE Systems, will be officially handed over to the navy in a ceremony this afternoon after three years of sea trials.
Claire Pounder, 29, of Gosport, was at the Round Tower in support of her husband Daryl, 25, who serves as a weapons engineer on the new ship.
She said: ‘It’s brilliant to see it come in to its home port for the first time. Daryl has been on the ship for just under a year helping to get it ready for today. They have been really busy doing lots of sea trials.’
Emma James, 28, of Southsea, waved to her boyfriend Alex Michou, 32, who is a military police officer on Dragon.
She said: ‘We are very excited. I’ve skipped off work to see it come in.’
The entry into Portsmouth was a first for Dragon’s new captain Commander Darren Houston, who has never been in command of a warship before.
His wife Liesl Houston, 44, was at the Round Tower to see her husband’s ship come into Portsmouth this morning.
She said: ‘I’m really proud. We’ve been waiting so long for this and the team has worked so hard getting the ship ready for today.
‘The red dragon looks great on the bow. It really makes a statement and sets this ship apart from the rest.’