In an example of routine work for the Royal Navy’s Fleet Ready Escort, the ship’s company of HMS Dragon have tracked, and met up with, the Vice Admiral Kulakov – a large Russian destroyer – as it transits past the United Kingdom.
Dragon, a fast and powerful Type 45 destroyer, pinpointed and monitored the movement of the Russian vessel as she approached British waters in what is a well-established and standard response to such events.
Dragon deployed from Portsmouth last week to pre-position well north of Scotland in good time to respond to the Udaloy Class destroyer’s deployment. She has made contact with the Kulakov and is now keeping an eye on the Russian ship’s transit south.
HMS Dragon is the fourth of six Type 45 destroyers that have entered service in the past five years.
Dragon’s patrol area includes all the waters of the UK important to fishing and commerce as well as the UK’s oil and gas production facilities around the coastline.
HMS Dragon’s Commanding Officer, Captain Iain Lower, said:
“For a mission like this, it is not about sending any ship, we need speed, we need endurance and, as the weather can be atrocious, sea-keeping is all important.
“The Russian Navy is a very capable force and it is right that the Royal Navy sends a ship that is credible and none are more so than the Type 45 destroyer. With the world’s best Air Defence radars, Dragon’s sensors are able to monitor UK airspace and sea lanes of communication at very long range.”
Press Release, April 24, 2014; Image: Royal Navy