HMS Dragon

HMS Dragon, one of the Royal Navy's Type 45 air defence destroyers, has reportedly been damaged by an internal fire.

The blaze is said to have sparked inside a machinery area while the vessel was at Portsmouth Naval Base.

Members of the crew extinguished the fire before any serious damage was caused to the £1 billion vessel, according to Portsmouth's The News.

The Royal Navy told the newspaper a probe has been launched into the blaze. A spokeswoman based at navy command, on Whale Island, said:

"The fire was rapidly extinguished by members of the ship's company."

HMS Dragon will remain at the naval base while the investigation takes place.

Fire Damages £1Bn Royal Navy Destroyer

Government records show that the Type 45 destroyers have suffered more than 5,000 defects since launching.

HMS Dragon alone sustained 887 defects from 2012 to 2015.

She then underwent an extensive refit in 2015, including substantial maintenance to her hero electric propulsion system as well as upgrades to weapons, sensors and communications systems.

HMS Dragon is the fourth of the Royal Navy's six Type 45 air defence destroyers.

Forces News is awaiting comment from the Ministry of Defence on the matter.