Portsmouth’s HMS Dragon roars back to the water after refit

HMS Dragon returns to the water after an extensive refit
HMS Dragon returns to the water after an extensive refit
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HMS Dragon has reached a major milestone in her year-long refit at Portsmouth Naval Base.

The Type 45 destroyer has been refloated for the first time since entering dry dock in October.

Dragon’s upgrade began in July last year and is her first major maintenance period since she launched in 2008. The work is being carried out by BAE Systems.

BAE Systems Project manager Jon Bartholomew, responsible for delivering the upkeep works, said: ‘HMS Dragon’s return to the water marks a major milestone in her upkeep package and the culmination of a tremendous amount of work by all involved over the festive period.

‘This undocking is the latest in a series of successful projects BAE Systems’ Fleet Time Engineering group, our T45 project team partners and the Royal Navy have delivered together as part of the Portsmouth Naval Base maritime enterprise and we look forward in earnest to delivering Dragon back to the fleet later this year.’

So far the shiphad a range of key maintenance done to her hull and underwater fittings.

Dragon has also undergone a raft of work to her state-of-the-art propulsion system as well as an upgrade to her weapons, sensors and communications systems.

The ship’s Senior Naval Officer, Commander Joe Allfree said: ‘Now Dragon is back in the water the ship’s company are eagerly looking forward to moving back on board and getting to grips with the extensive harbour and sea trials programme that follows.

‘In addition to overhauling and upgrading the various propulsion and weapon systems, we have made significant improvements to communal spaces and living quarters, which will make a real difference to Dragon’s sailors once we return to sea.’

The destroyer has also received a fresh coat of paint – timely preparation for the return of her 12-feet tall decorative Welsh dragons on the bow at the end of the month.