HMS Lancaster will spend several more months alongside before entering refit and finally rejoining the fleet after being effectively mothballed.
HMS Lancaster will enter refit around the middle of 2017. The frigate had been placed into “extended readiness” last year, (read mothballs).
Fears that the vessel would spend the rest of her career tied up alongside before being disposed of have now been calmed. The vessel will enter refit later this year and subsequently rejoin the active fleet.
This was confirmed recently in the form of a response to a written parliamentary question asked by Sir Nicholas Soames (MP for Mid Sussex) and answered by the Secretary of State for Defence.
Harriett Baldwin said:
“On current plans, the refit for HMS LANCASTER will commence in mid-2017. She is presently alongside in Portsmouth and is maintained with a minimal ship’s company until her refit.”
Philip Dunne (then Minister of State for Defence Procurement) said last year:
“The introduction of Engineering Training Ships is an important component of the Royal Navy’s comprehensive programme to improve training and career development opportunities by increasing training capacity. Ships in the operating cycle immediately ahead of refit will be used to deliver training alongside home Bases and Ports. HMS DAUNTLESS entered this profile in February this year.
A reduced Ship’s Company reside on board as normal, augmented by trainees who use the opportunity to gain experience through development activities in a realistic environment.”