HMS Dragon Undergoes Intense Operational Training

The Type 45 destroyer went through several challenging scenarios, including simulated attacks from fast craft and from the air.

HMS Dragon has been put through her paces during weeks of intense training as she prepares for operations.

The Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer was tasked with protecting Freeport, the fictitious name for Plymouth during exercises, from danger during three weeks at sea.

This saw the Portsmouth-based ship take on several challenging scenarios, testing her abilities across all warfare disciplines while also dealing with poor weather in the Channel.

In the operations room, the ship's company dealt with threats from surface combatant vessels, tackling small fast attack craft and also completing air defence exercises.

They also took part in intelligence-gathering exercises, culminating in the 'Royal Navy Thursday War', which included war-fighting and damage control.

All of this was part of the ship's Fleet Operational Sea Training (FOST), ensuring the vessel and her crew are ready for upcoming missions.

Able Seaman Jade Anderton said: "It was a really challenging few weeks, particularly as I had never done FOST training before."

In the operations room, the ship’s company dealt with a range of simulated threats (Picture: Royal Navy).

As part of the training, the ship faces a loss of capability to see how her sailors adapt when radars, weapons or communications go down.

AB Anderton added: "We had to work really hard to make sure the picture we were providing to command was accurate, especially when they started taking some of our radars away. 

"It was great to feel that we'd improved as a team."

As well as demonstrating their fighting ability, HMS Dragon's crew members have also had to show they can deal with emergency situations, including fires, medical incidents and floods.

HMS Dragon will continue training around the south coast, having returned to Portsmouth in December after a deployment in the Black Sea.

Cover image: Aerial image of HMS Dragon conducting FOST (Picture: Royal Navy).