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HMS Dragon defends joint UK and French task group from attack in exercises

HMS Dragon conducted a range of exercises with the French Navy
1 November 2021
HMS Dragon has defended a joint UK and French task group against fast boats and attacks from the air during intensive exercises.

The Type 45 destroyer worked alongside frigate Aquitaine, anti‐submarine destroyer Latouche‐Tréville and offshore patrol vessel Jacoubet as a task group off the coast of Brittany.

A series of exercises saw Dragon defend herself against fast, in-shore attack craft as she navigated her way out of the sheltered bay of Brest.

The Portsmouth-based ship was then tasked to provide protection and support to Aquitaine and had to show she could rapidly identify and respond to potential threats to the task group including from Rafale fighter jets, NH-90 helicopters, drones, Hawkeye tactical airborne early warning aircraft and surface threats.

Commander George Storton, Commanding Officer of HMS Dragon, said: “Exercise Sky Sharks has been an excellent opportunity to once again develop UK and French integration and demonstrate the capabilities of our exceptional people working with cutting-edge technology.

“Despite challenging weather conditions, our teams came together to plan and execute the testing exercise scenario against the highly capable assets of the Marine Nationale. Dragon absolutely cherishes opportunities such as these and we look forward to much more in the future.”

Dragon absolutely cherishes opportunities such as these and we look forward to much more in the future

Commander George Storton, Commanding Officer of HMS Dragon

Lieutenant Damien Tocquer is a French Exchange Officer from the French Navy currently serving as a Principle Warfare Officer (Above Water Warfare) on HMS Dragon.

He added: “As a French Navy Exchange Officer on board HMS Dragon, participation to Exercise Sky Sharks has been a pleasure and a great opportunity.

“The Royal Navy and Marine Nationale are both working incredibly hard to increase their lethality and operational efficiency by using cutting-edge technology and forefront tactics.

“Sky Sharks demonstrated once again how this shared aspiration for excellence can lead to success when fighting together in a challenging environment.”

Exercise Sky Sharks built on work HMS Dragon conducted alongside the French Navy and other NATO partners earlier this year on Exercise Formidable Shield.

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