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UK: Royal Navy's Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon reaches major refit milestone.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by BAE Systems on March 21, 2024, the Royal Navy's Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon has reached an important milestone in its refitting process at Portsmouth Naval Base.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon in 2019. (Picture source: UK MoD)

The ship has been under major upgrades since March 2022, including the installation of new engines. These engines were successfully started for the first time recently, as part of essential trials in the ship’s refurbishment program.

The refit is part of the broader Power Improvement Project aimed at enhancing the reliability of engine and power generation capabilities, which are critical for operating the ship's advanced sensors, systems, and weaponry. HMS Dragon is the latest in its class, following HMS Dauntless and HMS Daring, to undergo these significant upgrades.

About the HMS Dragon

The HMS Dragon has a displacement between 8,000 and 8,500 tons, measures 152.4 meters in length with a beam of 21.2 meters, and has a draught of 7.4 meters. Powered by two Rolls-Royce WR-21 gas turbines at 21.5 MW each, and two Wärtsilä 12V200 diesel generators at 2 MW each, the vessel supports an integrated electric propulsion system comprising two Converteam electric motors at 20 MW each. This configuration enables speeds exceeding 30 knots and a range surpassing 7,000 nautical miles at 18 knots. The HMS Dragon accommodates 191 crew members, with provisions for up to 235.

Equipped with sophisticated sensors and processing systems, including the SAMPSON multi-function air tracking radar, the S1850M 3-D air surveillance radar, and various Raytheon and Ultra Electronics navigation and tracking systems, the vessel is well-prepared for diverse operational demands. Its electronic warfare and decoy suites feature advanced technologies such as the UAT Mod 2.0 and the AN/SSQ-130 Ship Signal Exploitation Equipment.

The ship's armament includes the PAAMS air-defence system with 48 Sylver Vertical Launching Systems for Aster missiles, complemented by plans for Sea Ceptor missiles for enhanced air defense capabilities. Anti-ship defenses feature up to 8 Harpoon missiles, with a transition to Naval Strike Missiles anticipated in 2024.

The HMS Dragon's artillery comprises a 4.5-inch Mark 8 naval gun, two DS30B Mk 1 30 mm guns, two 20 mm Phalanx CIWS, two Browning .50 caliber heavy machine guns replacing the 7.62 mm Miniguns, and six 7.62 mm general-purpose machine guns. For aircraft operations, the vessel can accommodate one to two Lynx Wildcats or a Westland Merlin, equipped with anti-ship missiles and anti-submarine torpedoes.

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