HMS Kent, a Type 23 frigate, has been dry-docked at Babcock’s Devonport facility for a comprehensive maintenance overhaul.

The deep maintenance package aims to upgrade her structure and systems to the latest standards, ensuring she remains capable of fulfilling her operational duties.

According to Babcock, “HMS Kent has arrived in dry dock at our Devonport facility. The Type 23 frigate will undergo a deep maintenance package to bring her structure and systems up to the latest standard to ensure she is able to continue to fulfil the operational duties required of her.”

HMS Kent is one of the newest of the Type 23 frigates within the Royal Navy arsenal. Built by BAE Systems on the Clyde, she was launched on 27 May 1998 by Princess Alexandra of Kent.

In September 2023, the frigate was again tasked to escort HMS Queen Elizabeth during her deployment in northern European waters.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Micki
Micki (@guest_833306)
10 days ago

Waiting for disposal in the next “strategic defence review”.

Baker
Baker (@guest_833324)
10 days ago
Reply to  Micki

To be honest though Micki, if she does get through this, she will probably be the last Type 23 to do so and I would like to think she could be saved as a Museum Ship in Portsmouth, maybe birthed next to HMS Warrior.

Jon
Jon (@guest_833376)
10 days ago
Reply to  Baker

Kent is relatively young and might not just go through this refit, it might go through another one in six or seven years time. The T23s are supposed to last for another decade.

Baker
Baker (@guest_833385)
10 days ago
Reply to  Jon

HMS Kent is older than the envisaged life span for these T23’s though, they were not built for your suggested 30 plus years I don’t see where your comment comes from. Sorry.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_833395)
10 days ago
Reply to  Baker

Because they have to last that long. They’re all past their intended life spans at this point. But we’re still 4 years at least away from the first new frigate and the last new one won’t arrive till 2035

Lee
Lee (@guest_833519)
10 days ago
Reply to  Baker

I got to go onboard 25yrs ago I think. If I remember rightly, it was just before she was actually commissioned. I maybe biased, but she is gorgeous!

Dave
Dave (@guest_833628)
10 days ago
Reply to  Baker

Berthed!

Baker
Baker (@guest_833319)
10 days ago

Lets hope she is still worthy of saving, It’s not like we have an abundance of Frigates anymore, is it 9 now with just 3 available ?

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_833334)
10 days ago

Wonder if anyone has ever thought of replacing obsolescent ships on time? 😇

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_833367)
10 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

2010/11 would of been the right time to order new T26’s, including the long lead items. All under Cramron’s watch!

Last edited 10 days ago by Meirion X
Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_833673)
9 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Yep, or not cancelling six T45’s or selling three T23’s under Blair’s watch. All politicians, all with the same problem.💩

Bob
Bob (@guest_833839)
9 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

The demise of Royal Navy ships is purely down to the cost and manning demands of the two white elephant carriers that some idiot thought this nation needed.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_834420)
7 days ago
Reply to  Bob

The demise in ship orders happened before the two carriers were ordered by the idiot Brown who only saw ship building and votes, not the carriers in action. Now we have them nobody seems to have had the guts to finish the job.

Bob
Bob (@guest_834526)
7 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

The plans for the carriers were drawn up in the late 90’s way before Brown and his lot. They were approved knowing the cost and manning requirements of the two ships would result in a cut back and cancellation of many other surface ships , just as it has.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_834625)
6 days ago
Reply to  Bob

They were, as you say, designed under Tony Blair’s Premiership but the order was postponed for five years whilst sixT45’s were cancelled and three T26’s sold over seas. They were then ordered under Brown’s Premiership so we’re back to square one. This is not very important though. What matters is what will happen now.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_834830)
6 days ago
Reply to  Bob

Errr… Nope. Its not. 1st Sea lord who became a Labour Peer…West pushed the carrier project at the expense of the surface and sub flotillas. As First Sea Lord, West implemented the defence white paper entitled Delivering Security in a Changing World which cut three Type 23 frigates, three Type 42 destroyers, four nuclear submarines, six minehunters and reducing the planned purchase of Type 45 destroyers from twelve to eight. In a message to the Royal Navy, West said “We must continue the shift in emphasis away from measuring strength in terms of hull numbers and towards the delivery of… Read more »

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg (@guest_833426)
10 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

That would require foresight beyond one election cycle and the next day’s headlines!

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_833603)
10 days ago

Quote of the week!

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_833674)
9 days ago

Ah, there you have it ,my friend. A truer word never said.😏

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_833337)
10 days ago

I think Labour would be wise to do three major items.
1) undertake a non treasury led Strategic defensive review
2) stop the disposal of all major defence assets .ships aircraft etc until the SDR is completed and we know what we need.
3) as a matter of priority replace where appropriate the ammunition and equipment we have gifted to Ukraine.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_833351)
10 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

I’m not sure what items being disposed of youre referring to, Argyll is certainly gone. They’ll try to hang onto the Frigates that are left, the Tranche 1 Typhoons are basically gone. Warrior is one they could hang onto for a bit but end of the day we have to get on with Ajax and Boxer replacing them.

Last edited 10 days ago by Hugo
Jim
Jim (@guest_833359)
10 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

I can live with most of those platforms not being kept on the front line but I think it’s a mistake to send any of them to the treasury Razor blade factory. We should keep as much in storage as possible like we use to.

Old kits still valuable especially if you get into a war of attrition against a peer adversary

Baker
Baker (@guest_833366)
10 days ago
Reply to  Jim

It was a fair few years back that I got to see the old storage facilities for Chieftains and lightnings, and other such stuff, not sure if anything gets stored away anymore though.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_833616)
10 days ago
Reply to  Baker

Once an army equipment is declared Obsolete, it is withdrawn from units together with trg aids, simulators, special tools, publications, spares. The preference has always been to sell at the best possible price, sometimes by auction. Disposal by scrapping is the last resort. In recent times gifting to needy countries such as Ukraine has taken priority. It would cost serious money to store Obsolete kit and there are other costs too. Also we don’t have the right amount of storage space. I have never known a time when we retained Obsolete army kit.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_833369)
10 days ago
Reply to  Jim

It depends. Certainly alot easier to keep jets or Armorued vehicles. The T23s on the other hand are good for nothing after retirement. It would take far too long to bring them back into service in a war situation

AHG
AHG (@guest_833605)
10 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

And of course anything useful is recycled back into the system and spot welded onto newer platforms.

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_833372)
10 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

To be honest, there could be an argument for actually undertaking a modernisation of warrior…as we have seen from the challenger three programme..you can get a lot of vehicles for little money of you reuse old hulls.

Boxer is not a great fit for armoured infantry…the boxer order can used for protected infantry.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_833724)
9 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Agreed Jonathan,

The trouble is the Army would have to go for off the shelf solutions, i.e. chose kit already proven and bolt it on to the hull with minimum faff…

Fat chance. They just couldn’t help themselves, out would come the gold plating and boom, late and too expensive…

Cheers CR

Jonathan
Jonathan (@guest_833736)
9 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Indeed there are actually some quite good off the shelf turret solutions they could procure…..

ChariotRider
ChariotRider (@guest_833837)
9 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Hi Jonathan, I think I would go for an uncrewed flexible weapons mount, a chunky one at that, as we have some pretty cool weapons that we could fit. I am thinking of Brimstone and Martlet the latter could be very useful against drones. I think I am right in saying that some of these turrets can mount a cannon as well as missiles. I would also grab a small number of Warriors for troop trials as we need to be working seriously toward deploying full sized autonomous vehicles that can go where the heavies can go. We also need… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_833493)
10 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

I know they made them to last in Victorian times but I’m not sure Warrior is fit to return to service as a stop gap for the rotting T-23s. 😇 Ironically that ship went from most modern and powerful to obsolete in about ten years so I guess the frigates are doing pretty well. Mind you the T-26 would be obsolete as it entered service if Warrior’s timescale was was a guide.

andy a
andy a (@guest_833657)
9 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

I think they have already started disposing of warrior

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_833691)
9 days ago
Reply to  andy a

Do you mean Bristol?

Andy A
Andy A (@guest_833717)
9 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Bristol?? I’ve just heard on here that they are being phased out already

Steve
Steve (@guest_833389)
10 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

A labour goverment can’t do that. They would get killed in the media.

They would have a defence paper that suggested massive extra spending is needed and completely lacking in the funds to do it. The economy is a mess.

If the Conservatives did it the media would at least let them explain it away and back them. Labour isn’t in the same position. Papers saying today that a review of public service is guaranteed to mean tax rises based on absolutely nothing, whilst never doing the same when Cummings was constantly doing the same.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_833417)
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

They are simply putting a freeze on all downsizing plans made by the previous government.
1) most msm have been advocating vocally for a defence increase
2) the previous administration wilful hollowing out of the defence.
All perfectly plausible !!

Steve
Steve (@guest_833423)
10 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

The media are very predictable though. They might complain about the cuts but they will immediately jump on the story of labour tax raises the slightly chance they can .

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_833466)
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I agree that hypocrisy and the U.K. msm go hand in hand .
I am sure Starmer is more than capable of turning the table. As he said during the election, defence of the realm is government no 1 duty , the money will be found.

Steve
Steve (@guest_833469)
10 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

If you want to see extra cash for the milliary then labour winning should be a positive. The Conservatives were promising it the election after the last, meaning if they had won and not increased it they wouldn’t be held responsible. Labour however have been more vague about when and so at the next election they will be heavily criticised if they don’t increase the expenditure. Sometimes political weight has some advantages.

Andy Gass
Andy Gass (@guest_833684)
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Totally true ,the media are already acting hostile ,no change there, but the lack of positivity is very depressing.

Steve
Steve (@guest_833714)
9 days ago
Reply to  Andy Gass

It’s a shame. How do people trust the media if they can’t even wait a week before multiple headlines taking pop at the new goverment. Give them a chance to do something and then judge them based on it.

Rst2001
Rst2001 (@guest_833409)
10 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Uk desperately wants to increase speed of ship building for domestic and export . A lost opportunity here for uk to make business. 3 frigates a year t26 or t31 easily possible. The slow lead times will not inspire export orders . Or at very least buy frigates or corvettes from abroad like Australia is going to do

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_833370)
10 days ago

Hmmm, does “bring her… systems up to the latest standard” include actually accomplish ing the PGMU mod? (Simply attempting to break the code re boilerplate text of press releases.) 🤔

Jon
Jon (@guest_833501)
10 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

According to Navy Lookout, yes it will get PGMU.

Challenger
Challenger (@guest_833371)
10 days ago

Every time a T23 goes into refit now you have to wonder what will be found on closer inspection and whether she’ll ever return to the fleet again.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell (@guest_833380)
10 days ago

We are having to spend a fortune maintaining the decrepit type 23s. Instead just order a batch of 5 more type 31s, some more type 26s and get them into service pronto. We can serial build both type 26 and type 31s and once they reach 15 years service sell them onto a friendly foreign country.
This is a legacy of the Tories crap defence policy. Shocking mess the new labour government have to sort out.

Baker
Baker (@guest_833394)
10 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

You think the Tories caused this mess ? oh deary me.

Cripes
Cripes (@guest_833405)
10 days ago
Reply to  Baker

Well, given that we need to build one new escort every year for 20 years just to maintain the current downsized escort fleet… and that in 14 years of Conservative government, NOT ONE* new escort was commissioned, it looks pretty plain that (a) the Tories awarded themselves a 14-year break from the task of escort building and (b) the poor old T23s have had to soldier on miles beyond their OSD, with all the trials, tribulations, costs and lack of availability incurred. If not the Tories’ mess, I wonder who else you could possibly find to blame? * the last… Read more »

Andy Gass
Andy Gass (@guest_833755)
9 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

Totally agree, they are a disgrace!

FieldLander
FieldLander (@guest_833601)
10 days ago
Reply to  Baker

The slow down in escort build programmes may have started under Blair/Brown, in order to protect the Carrier programme, but the Tories have done nothing in the last 14 years to reverse that initial decision, indeed they have bought into to it enthusiastically. It will be decades before it is resolved. Let’s hope nothing bad happens in the mean time. Any major event in the next 10 years will have to be managed with what we have got. Given what we have given to UKR and the speed with which the defence industrial base can spool up to make good… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_834050)
8 days ago
Reply to  Baker

The Tories told the designers in 2010 to go back, and redesign the GCS as a much smaller vessel. Knowingly been advised, that a specialist ASW vessel needed to be the size as originally designed as.

Hugo
Hugo (@guest_833396)
10 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I don’t think you get it, we still have 4 years till the first of either new frigates come in, and 2035 till the last, we can’t just let the T23s go and have no Frigate fleet till then.

Rst2001
Rst2001 (@guest_833413)
10 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Spot on its a really simple business model. Uk can build at least ! 3 frigates destroyers a year . Its just requires a bit of will power and common sense. And if we are incapable of organising this then , like Australia has decided , just buy off the shelf from a foreign supplier such as Japan or South Korea

Last edited 10 days ago by Rst2001
Jon
Jon (@guest_833468)
10 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Although you could order more T31s the first batch won’t have ASW, so without the T23s we’ll be down to 3 ASW frigates by 2030. Pronto isn’t fast enough.

Meirion X
Meirion X (@guest_833530)
10 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Babs’ are also failing to even deliver a T31! Most likely first T31 delivered sometime after first T26!

Last edited 10 days ago by Meirion X
Hugo
Hugo (@guest_833634)
10 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

True they certainly were top ambitious, still faster than waiting for an additional T26 on the end of the 8 were building

andy a
andy a (@guest_833661)
9 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

not really both parties have slashed defence right back to Tony Blair. It started with him. Also where is the cash coming from to pay for this “fantasy fleet?”

Andy Gass
Andy Gass (@guest_833764)
9 days ago
Reply to  andy a

All nations went for a “peace dividend” but labour were still spending 2.7% of GDP in 2010. Tories were at 1.8% at one point.

Andy A
Andy A (@guest_833866)
9 days ago
Reply to  Andy Gass

And if labour were in power more they would have done the same. If you think they are better your nuts. They slashed sub numbers, squadrons and ship numbers to pay for his war.
Brown and Blair slashed billions, cancelled helicopters ships. Read up on it. There all the same

Last edited 9 days ago by Andy A
Cripes
Cripes (@guest_833993)
8 days ago
Reply to  Andy A

Three things to perhaps put your view in perspective: 1. When Blair was elected, we were still in the process of running defence down by 25%, following the NATO/USSR agreement that both sides would do so. Whichever Government was in power would have done the same, because it was part of our treaty commitment. 2. Labour spent 2.5% of GDP on defence in1997, when Blair took office, and were still spending 2.5% when Brown was defeated 13 years later. (Compare and contrast with the enormously heavy weather both major parties are making of reaching that measly figure today). 3. The… Read more »

Andy A
Andy A (@guest_834028)
8 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

I don’t really care about 2.5% of gdp on defence. It’s a pathetic figure especially if taken that the figures now include pensions and the deterrent. With that taken into account we should be well above 5% just to match the last time the world was like this.

I was merely pointing out to someone that they are both as bad as each other on defence. Pre Blair labour were awful on defence with projects cancelled all over.
I personally feel labour didn’t win. People voted for them to punish conservatives.
We need new options politically

Mikecollings
Mikecollings (@guest_833511)
10 days ago

As we have such a small fleet we should consider mothballing ships as opposed to selling or scrapping. If we sell them, other navies manage another 15 plus years.

Carl
Carl (@guest_833606)
10 days ago

Daft question from a landlubber but Where does the crew go during a refit ? Is there a skeleton crew left on board or are they all resettled on other ships ?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster (@guest_834836)
6 days ago
Reply to  Carl

Engineers stay. Most WE and ME SNCOs and some lads remain. Logs move shore side along with the warfare dept and do courses or get drafted to sea going ships. As the refit progresses, and you start hitting the important milestones the crew starts to come back. During the refit you don’t live onboard you live ashore in barracks. It is costing you food and accom charges to live in barracks and you don’t get sea pay. OK if you live in your own house locally…not so good if you are a traveller… Once you get to SSMOB (Ship Staff… Read more »

Bob
Bob (@guest_833860)
9 days ago

Someone on here suggested saving HMS Kent as a museum ship. Fat chance of that. Before they were all scraped, the government said that one of the Invincible class carriers would be saved for the nation. They also backed plans to preserve the old Ark Royal, HMS Hermes, and HMS Plymouth. Then there was the plans to save type 42 Edinburgh and Prince Charles old mine sweeper. Every one of these ships went to the breakers along with other museum candidates with the government’s blessing. HMS Bristol is also doomed to join them.

DB
DB (@guest_835186)
4 days ago
Reply to  Bob

You’d have to have a very interactive environment on a museum ship, and not sure we’re that good.

My son came from the Czech Republic and basically walked out of the Science Museum in disgust, to paraphrase his Czech he said it was ‘cr@p’ having been to an 18th century artillery bastion in Olomouc and the way they have connected the science of artillery with interactive science learning, I understand him!