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.”

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It would be interesting to know why it was mothballed and why the refit hasn’t already started. I am curious what has changed that means we can get this vessel into service or is it part of a rotation scheme, this one back in service whilst another goes into extended readiness.


Simple answer – no money…… as usual

Mr Bell

At a time when we need every warship the RN has in active service this is good news. Hopefully money can be found to bring Dauntless back into service so that we have all the possible 19 frigates and destroyers in service.
just need to fix the type 45 propulsion problems and fit strike length mk41 vl systems and the type 45 will be moving towards their full capabilities.


I sincerely hope we can do both but a previous article from another source had indicated the money that would have been used to fit Mk41 VLS is now being used to fix the propulsion issue as the taxpayer is on the hook for the full cost…. it’s so sad the way this country does defence… I really want to be optimistic with regard to our Armed Forces. We have the finest men and women in uniform anywhere yet it seems that every time you come across a defence related article it just reads depressing… cut after cut and capability… Read more »


I could actually weep looking at the shambles the politicos have left this country’s military in. The beancounters are in charge and the donkeys have won.


You also need enough trained RN personnel, and stop the current ones leaving faster than they are recruiting.

Nick Harriss

I’d take a guess that the timing reflects the weapon systems – Sea Wolf and Harpoon off and Sea Ceptor on.


This ship was in a far better condition than other type 23s before it was put into extended readiness was a massive shame after all the hard work after the last 9 month deployment would dread to think what condition it is in now having been left to rot for the last 12 months


This ship is 24 years old. Are they seriously going to spend a lot of money on a refit. Ships of this age become very unreliable as the RN work them very hard.