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Babcock has started upgrading the Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose at its Devonport dockyard.

The work to be undertaken on the whole fleet, is a 15 month programme that will see a large number of updates and upgrades. Among the planned improvements is the replacement of the Type 996 RADAR with Artisan 3D Medium Range RADAR 997, an update to the Seawolf missile system, installation of a chloropac system that reduces marine growth in the pipe system and installation of Automatic Small Calibre Guns.

Devonport Dockyard
Devonport Dockyard

Babcock Warships managing director Mike Whalley said:

“Among the challenges involved in this refit is the completion of the major dry blast and painting programme involving almost total renewal of the ship’s paint coatings from the water line up, while completing other maintenance and upgrade work within the necessary timescales, requiring careful scheduling and programme management.

This will include the 100% removal of the dock blocks to allow survey and painting of the hull, using an innovative hydraulic lifting process, which was successfully used for the first time on a Type 23 earlier this year on HMS Monmouth.”

Type 23 Frigate team leader captain Giulian Hill said:

“The upkeep of HMS Montrose is a significant milestone in the ship’s life. It provides an important opportunity for reinvestment in the ship’s material state, which will be delivered under the successful partnership between the MoD and Babcock.”

HMS Montrose is scheduled to start sea trials and join the fleet in early 2016.

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