Type 23 Frigate HMS Portland earlier hosted a ceremony at Devonport to mark her return to the Royal Navy fleet after an extensive refurbishment and upgrade.
According to a Royal Navy news release that can be found here, the Type 23’s overhaul was completed by Babcock International at the dockyard and now “the warship looks toward front-line operations once more”.
“Commissioned in 2001, the Royal Navy’s second-youngest frigate has been busy since emerging from Devonport’s Frigate Support Centre late last year. 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 River Tamar waterfront.
The ship is the first of her class to have her electric propulsion motors removed, rewired and replaced, while the Sea Wolf missile system has been ripped out and Sea Ceptor installed in its place. The 997 surveillance and 1084 navigational radars have been added too, plus the new to Royal Navy 2150 hull mounted sonar to sharpen her anti-submarine warfare teeth. For good measure, machinery and IT systems on board have also been overhauled, as well as mess decks redesigned from their original 1980s layouts, meeting the needs and expectations of today’s sailors.”
Commander Surface Flotilla, Commodore Tim Neild, was quoted as saying:
“It is really great to be with you on this rather auspicious occasion, in which we herald a new dawn in the history of HMS Portland. In her 20 years of service she has steamed nearly half a million miles, and delivered world-class anti-submarine warfare operations, alongside many of our key partners and allies. I’d like to congratulate each and every one of you for the hard work and pride which you have all poured into every aspect of the delivery of HMS Portland, throughout her extensive refit.”