HMS Monmouth, a type 23 frigate, has sailed for sea trials after an 18 month refit in Plymouth having had its weaponry and systems upgraded.

HMS Monmouth, the 'Black Duke', as she sails to the Middle East in 2011.
HMS Monmouth, the ‘Black Duke’, as she sails to the Middle East in 2011.

The Type 23 frigate was originally designed for anti-submarine warfare against the Soviets but the addition of the vertical-launch Seawolf missile and Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles, has expanded its role and it’s now capable of a wide spectrum of naval taskings, it will be replaced by the Type 26 frigate beginning at the end of the decade.

The upgrades included replacing Radar 996 with Artisan 3D Medium Range Radar 997,  a midlife update to the vessels Seawolf missiles, galley updates, installation of a chloropac system that reduces marine growth in the pipe system and the installation of automatic small calibre guns.

The ship’s captain, Commander Philip Tilden said:

“It is important not to underestimate the monumental and complex effort put in by both my ship’s company and our industrial partners to get the ship to sea today after such an extensive refit. In particular, at this significant milestone my team in the ‘Black Duke’ can be very proud that the huge personal investment they have made to date will ultimately benefit our nation for many years to come.”

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Ian Clarke
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Instalation of small calibre automatic guns? What are these then?

Allan Southern
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30mm Bushmaster with remote control IIR.