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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2007, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Navy destroyer linked to Cardiff
Artist's impression of the T45 destroyer class
The date of HMS Dragon's launch will be confirmed in 2009
One of the Royal Navy's latest ships will be associated with Cardiff, it has been announced.

HMS Dragon, a Type 45 destroyer, is being built on the River Clyde in Scotland along with five sister ships.

All ships and submarines of the Royal Navy are affiliated to different towns, cities and regions in a move which aims to strengthen community ties.

In 2005, HMS Cardiff made its final trip to its namesake city before being decommissioned.

HMS Cardiff was a Type 42 destroyer which was commissioned in 1979 and saw active service in the Falklands, the first Gulf war and the build-up to the second Gulf conflict.

The new HMS Dragon, which will carry a crew of 190, will be more than 150m (490ft) long.

It will have a range of 7,000 nautical miles and carry a surface-to-air missile system. Its launch date will be confirmed in 2009.

Other Royal Navy links to Wales
Attack submarine HMS Trenchant - Llanelli and Carmarthenshire
Type 23 frigate HMS Monmouth - Monmouthshire
Survey vessel HMS Scott - Granted the freedom of Swansea
Offshore patrol vessel HMS Severn - Newport
Mine hunter HMS Pembroke - Pembrokeshire
Wales University Royal Naval Unit ship HMS Express - Aberystwyth
Amphibious assault ship Royal Fleet Auxiliary Cardigan Bay - Cardigan

The announcement of its Cardiff link was made by Admiral Sir Jonathon Band at a special dinner on Wednesday night.

"The Royal Navy already enjoys a number of high profile links with Wales," he said.

"The affiliation of HMS Dragon will allow these to be strengthened by keeping many of our traditions alive, and hopefully develop a few new ones too."

Cardiff's Lord Mayor Gill Bird said the city had always enjoyed a close relationship with all the armed forces.

"I am delighted the Royal Navy is continuing its long association with Cardiff and its people through this affiliation with HMS Dragon," she said.

"I am looking forward to meeting the crew when she makes her first visit to her adopted home."

HMS Dragon and her sister ships have been designed for a range of tasks including air defence and anti-piracy.

The first of the ships, Daring, was launched in February 2006 and will be followed by Dauntless, Diamond, Dragon, Defender and Duncan.

In Pictures: HMS Cardiff on parade
09 Jul 05 |  In Pictures

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