HMS Portland is back at sea for the first time in four years after after a major overhaul.
The Royal Navy say here that the frigate sailed from Devonport this afternoon for sea trials as the latest Type 23 warship to complete the ‘life extension’ programme for the class – a massive undertaking which is now drawing to a close.
“After completing her last deployment in 2017 – to the North and South Atlantic – the ship was handed over to Babcock in 2018 to start her refit in the frigate sheds on the Devonport waterfront.
In the three years which since passed, in the first for her class, two electric propulsion motors were removed, rewired and replaced, the Sea Wolf missile system has been ripped out and Sea Ceptor installed in its place, the 997 surveillance and 1084 navigational radars added, and the new to Royal Navy 2150 hull mounted sonar to sharpen her anti-submarine warfare teeth.
For good measure, machinery, computer and IT systems onboard have been overhauled, as have mess decks which were designed in the 1980s so they can meet the needs and expectations of 21st Century sailors.”
The Royal Navy also say that HMS Somerset will be the next frigate to complete the life extension, while HMS Iron Duke and St Albans are mid-overhaul and HMS Sutherland becomes the last Type 23 to undergo the work, entering the refit complex next week.