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HMS Dragon opens to the public

Supership HMS Dragon is docked in Cardiff and open to the public Photo: ITV Wales

Royal Navy supership HMS Dragon has docked in the Welsh capital for the first time - and is today open to the public.

The Type-45 destroyer sailed into her adopted port last week, just in time for Wales' Six Nations showdown against France.

Today the crew will be on hand to talk to visitors about the capabilities of Type-45 vessels, life in the modern Royal Navy and their own experiences of life at sea.

The 152-metre ship is stationed at India Berth in Queen Alexandra Dock and this is the first time she has visited her affiliated city.

First Minister Carwyn Jones and the Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan are among two of the ship's guests during her time in port so far.

"There is a palpable sense of pride among the crew for bringing Dragon to her adopted home for the first time. It is a very special occasion and will, no doubt, be the first of many such visits during her anticipated 35-45 year career within the Royal Navy's Fleet.

– HMS Dragon Commanding Officer Darren Houston

Britain's six Type-45 destroyers are the most advanced warships the nation has ever built.

Their mission is to shield the fleet from air attack using the Sea Viper missile, which can knock targets out of the sky up to 70 miles away if necessary.

The ships can also be used as general-purpose warships - they have huge flight decks to accommodate helicopters up to the size of a Chinook.

There is enough space on board to host a Royal Marines detachment up to 60-men strong.

HMS Dragon will be in Cardiff for five days.

Cardiff is a beautiful and proud city and I cannot wait to show my shipmates what she has to offer.

– HMS Dragon Petty Officer Christopher Hughes