Royal Navy destroyer HMS Dragon placed on red alert to roar into Iran crisis

A ROYAL Navy warship from Portsmouth has been placed on red alert to steam into the Iran crisis, it has been claimed.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 3:54 pm
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 12:08 pm

HMS Dragon has reportedly been placed on high readiness to head to the Middle East amid on-going tensions between Tehran and America.

The £1bn destroyer could also be accompanied by the navy’s flagship, HMS Albion, which is now on a six-hour notice to sail.

A team of elite Royal Marines have also been placed on red alert and will travel inside the amphibious assault ship if she deploys from Plymouth, The Sun reported.

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Photograph of HMS Dragon at sea.

Insiders said the warships would help a mass evacuation of Brits if war breaks out.

The navy’s new ‘notice to move’ orders for both warships came hours after Iran fired 22 rockets at US bases in Iraq in revenge for the death of General Qasem Soleimani.

Leave for both crews has also been restricted as fevered preparations are made to react to further Iranian retaliation.

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A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: ‘Defence has changed the readiness of certain units to assist if the need arises.

‘This is part of prudent planning in order to ensure the safety of UK citizens and armed forces personnel.’

Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer HMS Defender is already based in the Gulf, alongside Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose.