Bullets fired at 1,000 metres per second cracked through the air of the Arabian Sea on Thursday, as crew on board a Cardiff-affiliated warship tested their weapons.
About 200 crew members were on board the HMS Dragon as rounds were fired at targets in the Gulf of Aden, between Yemen and Somalia, in preparation for counter-piracy operations.
The ship has fully automated systems, but crew are trained to use weapons manually, in case of emergency.
One of the weapons being tested was a 30mm cannon, which is usually radar or laser guided.
But during the practice session, the cannon was handled manually by Royal Navy able seaman Ben Pritchard, 23, who maintains the ship’s sea survival equipment.
He said: “This was the first time I’d fired the weapon and the kit was really easy to use - it’s a lot more accurate than you’d think.”
During the exercise, crew fired at an “indestructible” one metre cube of polystyrene, which can be used repeatedly during target practice.
HMS Dragon left the UK on March 19 and is currently on her first operational deployment in the Middle East.
The main role of the ship is to protect UK national forces against enemy aircraft and missiles.
The 152-metre ship is the fourth of the Royal Navy’s six £1bn Type 45 destroyers and is the latest to be commissioned into the fleet.
Type 45s are the most advanced warships built in Britain and are designed to shield the fleet from air attack using a Sea Viper missile, which can knock targets out of the sky up to 70 miles away.
The ship is affiliated with Cardiff and first visited her adopted city last spring, where she was greeted by First Minister Carwyn Jones for a demonstration and reception.
The ship is expected to return to South Wales on many occasions during her anticipated 35-45 year career within the Royal Navy’s fleet.
A spokesman for the Royal Navy said: “The crew are really proud of the Welsh affiliation.”