Type 23 Frigate HMS Sutherland has visited Japan.

HMS Sutherland sailed on a deployment to Australia, the Far East and the Gulf region at the beginning of this year. In a ‘period of ongoing tension in the Korean peninsula’, the Type 23 Frigate is available to ‘work closely with our regional partners, including US, Japanese and South Korea, and participate in joint training and exercises’ say the MoD.

Speaking during a visit to the Devonport Naval Base, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“Our already strong defence ties with allies in the Asia Pacific area will be deepened further by this deployment. At a time when North Korea’s illegal weapons programme is causing global concern, the deployment of these two Royal Navy ships is a clear demonstration of the UK’s commitment to the peace and prosperity of the region.”

Commander Andrew Canale, the ship’s captain, said:

“This is an opportunity for HMS Sutherland to demonstrate the global reach of the Royal Navy as well as the UK’s commitment to building relationships and maintaining stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

Recently, HMS Sutherland sailed into Sydney for the beginning of a week-long visit to Australia’s biggest city.

“Thank you, Sydney, for a great welcome,” said the frigate’s Commanding Officer, Commander Andrew Canale. “We’re looking forward to a packed programme over the next few days.”

According to a press release:

“The Australian element of the Fighting Clan’s deployment is centred on encouraging the Royal Australian Navy to buy British – from the Great Britain campaign celebrating the best of UK industry and talent… through to encouraging Canberra to ‘go British’ when it replaces its warships. The Royal Australian Navy is about to invest massively in its frigate force, with Britain pushing the Type 26 and 31 – which will replace Sutherland and her 12 sisters over the next 18 years – as one of the designs.”

Before that, Type 23 Frigate HMS Sutherland conducted a ‘Sovereignty Patrol’ as part of her entry into Gibraltar.

Originally designed for anti-submarine warfare in the North Atlantic, the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates have proven their versatility peace-keeping and maritime security operations. Thirteen Type 23 frigates remain in service with the Royal Navy, with three vessels having been sold to Chile and handed over to the Chilean Navy.

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Rob Collinson

The Type 23 are starting to look rather long in the tooth now, are they not?

Rob Collinson



Not a patch on Force Z ?


I think they do look as if they are near the end, but as gunbusters would say they are very capable platforms and still amongst the best ASW assets in the world, which is really something to be proud of. Realistically I think we could build an updated version using the same basic hull, propellers etc for the T31 and get amazing value out of it. I just really want to see all future ships armed to the teeth instead of being too defensive, it is difficult to see how the RN would sink another ship of comparable size if… Read more »

Rob Collinson

I agree with all of these comments. They have been excellent vessels and have been constant workhorses of our global reach since their introduction. They bristle with features which seem to be lacking or hidden more by more recent devices. Unfortunately, these vessels are becoming obsolete for the role they were designed. They are too ‘noisy’ and are in need of urgent replacement. It is scandalous how the T26/T31 procurement programme has been handled, although it has given us the introduction of the River Batch 2 vessels. I feel the these, although not originally wanted, will prove to be well… Read more »


They are complete and utter junk,not even fit for scrap metal patching the damned things up is just prolonging the agony,imho the crew aboard the poor things ought to be ashamed of themselves they seem to be incapable of even the most basic maintenance they can’t even be arsed to lift a paintbrush or grease a nipple or two,rant over.


Are you always an idiot?


its just sailed half way around the world….you would expect a bit of rust….it’s called ‘weathering’


I have recently worked on a refit of a 23 we lost count of the amount of insert work it would have been cheaper to build a new hull and superstructure.

John Clark

They still capable and respected ships, but age is undeniability creeping up on them and the T26 is needed asap.

While I don’t think the T31 should be based on a an obsolete design like the T23, the T31 should be a modern modular , upgradable and flexible design of about 5000 tons and bought in quantity 12 +

The often quoted 4000 ceiling seems too small and limiting


Lord, look at our Tico’s…



I agree that of all the allies’ major ships the Ticos have a good shot at winning the prize for the most dated looking but, talking of good shots, you certainly couldn’t accuse them of being under armed. If we (the U.K.) ever installed the maximum FFBNW number of Mk41 across all of our T45s (16 for each T45 I believe) we still wouldn’t be able to match the load-out of a single Tico. Even adding our first T26 to the mix still wouldn’t get us quite there!

I do admire the scale that you guys do things on.


They really do have that “vintage” look to them don’t they Julian :D? However – I believe the USN is planning to have about 12 of them in commission to the late 2030’s / early 2040’s after a thorough modernization.


Hopefully by then we’ll be commissioning the next gen CGX (very hopefully)…



Operational deployment and you can accept the cosmetic issues of rust flows around the Anchor etc (and I struggle to understand why that can’t be technically better mitigated by marine cathodic protection … Or does that compromise other things?). However. if this is as much a Sales pitch to a society paranoid about quality then surely a visit to a refurbishment yard in Singapore for a buff and touch up would have been in order.. Such things matter out east.