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The Royal Navy's newest warship officially joined the fleet on Friday.
HMS Dragon is the fourth of the Royal Navy's six new Daring class Type 45 destroyers.
The giant destroyer, which was built at BAE Systems in Glasgow, was commissioned in a colourful 'Christening' ceremony attended by hundreds at Portsmouth Naval Base.
With a red dragon proudly emblazoned on either side of her bow, she will be affiliated to the city of Cardiff.
Each Type 45 destroyer will be the world's most powerful and advanced air-defence warship.
In an "intensive attack" a single Type 45 could simultaneously track, engage and destroy more targets than five of the previous Type 42 destroyers operating together. The Daring class are the largest escorts ever built for the Royal Navy in terms of displacement.
Each ship's SAMPSON radar is capable of tracking an object the size of a cricket ball travelling at three times the speed of sound, and Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope has talked of the RN's pride in a Type 45 being asked to switch off PAAMS because it was "constraining the training" in exercises with US forces
After the launch of the first Type 45 destroyer, HMS Daring, on 1 February 2006 former First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West stated that it would be the Royal Navy's most capable destroyer ever, as well as the world's best air-defence ship.
One Type 45, HMS Dauntless, has been sent to defend the Falklands. It is believed that it has the capacity to destroy the entire Argentine Air Force.
HMS Defender is to be commissioned in 2013, but will travel down to Portsmouth later this year to commence sea trials, and HMS Duncan in 2014.
Navy's HMS Dragon commissioned at Portsmouth Naval Base
20 April 2012
HMS Dragon arrives at her home in Portsmouth for the first time. She is the fourth of six new Type 45 Destroyers
The Royal Navy's latest warship has officially joined the fleet.
Type 45 Destroyer HMS Dragon was commissioned in a colourful 'Christening' ceremony attended by hundreds at Portsmouth Naval Base.
The vessel is the fourth ship of its kind built by BAE Systems in Glasgow and will be affiliated to Cardiff.
Type 45 Destroyers are used in air defence to protect UK national and coalition forces against enemy warcraft and missiles.
Welcome home: Portsmouth will be home to all the Type 45s - the largest and most powerful air defence destroyers ever built for the Royal Navy
Chaplain of the fleet, the Venerable Scott Brown, conducted the ceremony attended by Susie Boissier from BAE Systems and Second Sea Lord, vice admiral Charles Montgomery.
The hour-long ceremony was rounded off in traditional Royal Navy fashion by the cutting of a commissioning cake.
Her Commanding Officer, Darren Houston, said: "It's a very special day which marks the end of our trials phase and the transition to front-line service.
All aboard: The crew of the Royal Navy's newest warship march aboard
"I am very pleased that so many families, friends and affiliates have been part of our momentous day."
HMS Dragon is the fourth of six Type 45 Destroyers to be built for the Royal Navy, all of which are based in Portsmouth.
HMS Daring was the first to be commissioned in July 2009 with the fifth - HMS Defender - set to arrive in Portsmouth this summer.
All six are scheduled to be in service by the middle of the decade.
BBC News - Navy's HMS Dragon commissioned at Portsmouth Naval Base
Last edited by Sir Drinkalot; 04-22-2012 at 08:52 AM.
So what is the number up to now? 5? 6 "most powerful"'s afloat on the worlds oceans? Each country has their own after all.
Sir Drinkalot, before you get all indignant, I am not taking anything away from the Dragon or her sister ships. She is certainly a fine vessel and will, no doubt, be crewed with some of the best sailors in the world. I'd expect nothing less of the Royal Navy.
"The spirit must be the firmer, the heart the bolder,
courage must be the greater as our might fails"