Type 23 Frigate HMS Richmond has spent the past six weeks undergoing trials and training after a major overhaul, say the Royal Navy.
The Royal Navy said in a news release:
“Plymouth-based Richmond is earmarked as one of the escorts assigned to the carrier battle group when it sails next year, shielding the 65,000-tonne leviathan from hostile submarines. The ship completed a lengthy refit in the hands of Babcock in February, since when she’s been testing the newly-fitted systems and shaking off the cobwebs after many months out of action.
As well as receiving many of the upgrades which the rest of the frigate flotilla has enjoyed (notably replacing the aged Sea Wolf air defence missile with the new Sea Ceptor), Richmond has been fitted with new engines to act as the test bed for the next generation of warships.”
The Royal Navy say that HMS Richmond is the first Royal Navy vessel to be fitted with the PGMU propulsion system – a new generation of diesel generators, accompanied by a fully-modernised control and surveillance system, “making it easier to control and monitor the engines and diagnose any problems”.
The same system will be used to power eight Type 26 frigates, led by HMS Glasgow, being built as replacements for Richmond and her submarine-hunting sisters.
“During the trials in testing conditions in the Channel – including a battering from Storm Jorge and a 33° roll which tested the ‘sea legs’ of Richmond’s 200-strong ship’s company – the new propulsion system proved itself to be reliable, more efficient and generated more power for the ship’s weapons and sensors – vital as technology upgrades means they will demand more power in the future. During her trials, the ship has worked with Merlin and Wildcat helicopters, tested her submarine-hunting towed array sonar – run out of the ship’s stern in a long tube – for the first time in several years.”