Kuwait Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. General Mohammad Al-Khodhor and Assistant Commander of the Navy Major General Idris Idris accompanied British Ambassador Michael Davenport on a visit to British Royal Navy destroyer, HMS Dragon, docked at Kuwait’s Shuwaikh Port on Thursday, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.
The Generals were briefed on the role and duties of the British warship, and discussed “mutually beneficial military aspects through exchange of expertise and boosting military cooperation,” read a Kuwait Armed Forces press statement.
Lt. General Al-Khodhor praised the level of bilateral relations between Kuwait and the United Kingdom and both countries’ keenness to increase these ties.
Launched on 7 November 2008, HMS Dragon is the fourth of the Royal Navy’s six Type 45 air defense destroyers. After successful firing the Sea Viper, intensive at-sea training, her maiden deployed on 19 March 2013 to the Gulf region, according to the Royal Navy’s Website.
Dragon quickly integrated into the Gulf theatre of operations, working closely with other UK and international partners to promote security in the region and keep the trade flowing through the Straits of Hormuz. While in the Indian Ocean, Dragon visited many of the Gulf States including Oman, Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain.
HMS Dragon then repositioned to the Eastern Mediterranean to demonstrate the flexibility of deployed maritime forces and to ensure the protection of UK interests, which includes the defense of our Sovereign Base Areas.
Less than a year after she returned from operations in the Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean the Type 45 destroyer left Portstmouth (27th October 2014) for a routine seven-month Atlantic Patrol Tasking deployment where she took over from HMS Iron Duke to continue the UK’s commitment to the region building on the UK’s strong ties with its allies.
The Type 45 destroyer has been out of action for a year while she’s undergone a major upgrade. Improvements to the ship – carried out by BAE Systems - have included upgrades to weapons, IT, communications and marine engineering systems. Her huge rudders have also been overhauled.
HMS Dragon is currently undergoing a series of intensive sea trials in UK waters to prepare for her third overseas deployment.