In another example of routine work for the Fleet Ready Escort, HMS Dragon tracked and met up with a Russian task group off the coast of Brest as they entered the English Channel on Wednesday to sail north.
HMS Dragon, one of the Royal Navy’s most technically advanced warships, was able to pinpoint and monitor the movement of the seven-strong group led by Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov as it approached the UK.
As the Royal Navy’s Fleet Ready Escort – a designated Royal Navy Frigate or Destroyer that is maintained at high-readiness for UK home waters – HMS Dragon made ready her 200-strong ship’s company and sailed from Portsmouth.
Once the ships spotted each other they briefly sailed close by as a standard ‘meet and greet’.
As well as the Kuznetsov, the task group included the Kirov Class nuclear powered battle cruiser Pyotr Velikiy; three tankers; Segey Osipov, Kama and Dubna; one Ocean-going Tug Altay and the Landing Support Ship Minsk.
Minister for the Armed Forces Mark Francois said: “This routine action by HMS Dragon, in her capacity as the Fleet Ready Escort, once again underlines the professionalism and credibility of the Royal Navy in keeping the whole of the UK secure at and from the sea.”
Captain Rex Cox, Commanding Officer of HMS Dragon said: “Following our recent activation HMS Dragon has once more monitored a Russian task group through the UK’s areas of interest.
“This is very much routine business both for HMS Dragon and for the Royal Navy.
“What is different here is that a Russian task group of this size has not passed by our shores in some time.
“Cutting edge, extremely capable and very versatile, a Type 45 Destroyer, such as HMS Dragon, is the ideal ship for the job.”
HMS Dragon is the fourth of six Type 45 Destroyers which have entered service over the past five years – the most advanced warships the nation has ever built.
Press Release, May 9, 2014; Image: Royal Navy