The Type 23 Frigate will be deployed amid what the Defence Secretary has called ‘a period of ongoing tension in the Korean peninsula’.

This is the second warship sent to the Asia Pacific region. HMS Argyll will deploy to Japan to take part in exercises in December 2018 following participation in a Five Power Defence Arrangements exercise with Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“Our already strong defence ties with allies in the Asia Pacific area will be deepened further by this deployment.

At a time when North Korea’s illegal weapons programme is causing global concern, the deployment of these two Royal Navy ships is a clear demonstration of the UK’s commitment to the peace and prosperity of the region.”

HMS Sutherland is a Type 23 frigate, her original design role was anti-submarine warfare, but she can be employed in a variety of roles.

The type form the core of the Royal Navy’s destroyer and frigate fleet and serve alongside the Type 45 destroyers. Originally designed for anti-submarine warfare in the North Atlantic, the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates have proven their versatility in warfighting, peace-keeping and maritime security operations around the globe. Thirteen Type 23 frigates remain in service with the Royal Navy, with three vessels having been sold to Chile and handed over to the Chilean Navy.


  1. The type 23’s cosmetically are really looking their age and look like something from another era compared to the t45’s.

    Although if you had a choice which you would prefer backing you up, the reliability of the t23 would always win.

    • Such a shame about the T45 reliability because, apart from that, they seem to be superb at what they were designed for, an AAW specialist (I say “seem to be” because they’ve not been tested in a real attack but hopefully they would live up to expectations).

      Maybe that’s a silver lining for how long it’s going to take us to get everything worked up and enough F-35Bs delivered before the carriers can go operational because that’s when the T45 specialist role really comes into its own for what it will contribute to the CBG. Hopefully the reliability issues can be fixed by the time the first QEC is operational so that the T45s are fighting fit and ready to take their place in the CBG with no more lingering doubts about reliability.

  2. I’m surprised we would send one of only eight ships equipped with Type 2087 towed array sonar to facedown a navy with no modern submarines. Surely the eight best anti-submarine frigates should be focused on carrier escort or ASW patrol missions?

    • Evening
      They may not be modern but there are many of them.
      Good opportunity to test 2087 against Japanese sub and in different water conditions as well.
      Hopefully it will deploy with a Merlin, as designed but I am not holding my breath…

  3. You have a point, Lee. Given the prolific ASW assets of the JMSDF, Sutherland’s presence will be more valuable as a symbol of moral support than for any great additional capability it might provide.

  4. I think that the underlying purpose of the deployment will also be transition of the South China Sea and freedom of navigation, so sending a T45, which might be more appropriate, was out of the question for a warm water deployment until its engine problems are well solved. Better still would be a T23 and T45 with a fleet tanker. That’s not viable though is it. Its also a preparation deployment for a small CBG in 2021. Despite anti american feelings and its none of our business positions or its not in our virtual national interests such a deployment should be made as it shows support for the South Koreans and the Japanese both who live under a constant immediate threat, something the UK has not experienced since 1940.

  5. What are we doing REALLY?


    Defence minister Tobias Ellwood ‘prepared to resign’ over cuts to Army by 12000

    • The 12k figure doesn’t surprise me, i have posted multiple times here that if the navy is losing 2 albions and 1k marines, then the army would also lose big. If you put the head of the navy/army/airforce in a room and ask them to work out cuts that are best for the overall, you can guarantee each of them will only be interested in their own service and so the net result would be equal value cuts for each service.

      Absolute madness to cut the army further, considering how badly numbered they were during 2 recent conflicts (iraq/afgan). I can understand cutting the navy, which isn’t really needed as much in the modern world (agree its risky as things might change, but just looking at today’s realistic threats) but the army is madness.

      • I’d disagree completely. We’re an Island nation. Our strength has always been our naval assets. Navy and Air force should be before the Army. While I agree with most on this website that cuts are bad we should be looking to what we as the UK need. Protecting our airspace and shipping lanes should be number one. It’s quicker to train infantry then to build ships/planes if the world did go to hell I’d figure.

        The Empire is gone, there isn’t much land we need an Army to hold onto. At least alone.

      • I totally disagree with your reasoning Steve that the RN is less needed.

        I would suggest that the RN and the RAF are equally the main power projection assets of a military.

        Of the three services it is the army most in need of reform or which the UK could use

        We are an Island nation. As such any military operation oversees by necessity requires
        power projection of a navy and an air force, either on their own or in putting the army into theatre.

        Home defence wise the RN and RAF are also prime. ASCS radar providing the RAP, QRA assets and MPA of the RAF, and the RN securing the North Atlantic and GIUK alongside NATO assets.

        The army could be reduced and funds diverted into an expanded RAF an RN, ESPECIALLY in extra sailors.

        The army, alongside the rest of NATO, tried to do too much in Afghanistan.
        The Soviets could not pacify the place with many more soldiers, why did NATO think it could?

        Strategy wise I fully supported the western response to 9/11 by going into Afghanistan, and Iraq, but not to occupy.
        We then had an “insurgency”
        Well by my thinking what did people expect?
        Would we have an “insurgency” in the UK if role is reversed in 100 years time and Afghans come and occupy the UK?
        Damn right we would.

        Leaving the genuine jihadis aside our opponents were then called terrorists.
        The Germans in WW2 saw the French resistance as “terrorists”
        We think of them as heroes, resisting a foreign occupier.
        The afghans saw foreign occupiers of their country.
        What is the difference!?
        The same happened in Iraq.

        This does not make me some lefty opposed to all foreign intervention. The UK needs the capability to effect events inland, and you can do that with a powerful air force and powerful navy and special forces, without occupying the place which takes a huge army to do so.

        The army is reorganising into a division that can deploy with NATO against a peer enemy. That is correct.
        It also needs 16 Air Assault Brigade, the RM, and the Gurkhas as elite light infantry, used for raiding and kept at high readiness to respond by air or sea.
        The UK has this capability now, and all these areas need to be kept.

        If you look at the rest of the army in the “adaptable force” there are a mass of infantry battalions with not a single combat service or combat service support unit supporting them. They cannot be used as complete formations.

        Setting aside those units needed for oversees garrisons, public duties, and those being reformed into “defence engagement” units leaves several with no real discernible role.

        Fact – of 31 battalions in the infantry, after A2020 refine only 12 are part of a deployable brigade or support UKSF, and only 8 will have any armoured or mechanized role.

        Armoured Infantry Brigade – 2 Warrior Battalions.
        Armoured Infantry Brigade – 2 Warrior Battalions.
        Strike Brigade – 2 MIV Battalions.
        Strike Brigade – 2 MIV Battalions.
        16 AA Brigade – 2 Para Battalions and 1 Gurkha Battalion.
        DSF – – 1 Para Battalion ( SFSG )

        This at the time was spun by Fallon as an increase in capability. Crap. Before our 3 Armoured Infantry Brigades we had, and still have now, had 15 Infantry and RAC formations. The above has 14. A subtle cut hidden by the spin of a “Strike Brigade”

        In the meantime there has been WHOLESALE cuts to artillery, engineer, signal, REME, Medical, RMP, and AAC units, to save infantry cap badges and the political crap that follows.

        This is wrong. The force is now unbalanced with too many infantry and not enough supporting elements.

        I would argue against ALL cuts.
        BUT if cuts must be made it is the army where the axe should fall.
        Never your enablers and main power projection assets, prime of which is the Senior Service.

    • The Govt. will never get the votes, whilst defence is not always the highest on the agenda of the public within the ranks of the Tory Party it is up there with Europe. More interestingly, who are the tidies in a confidence and supply arrangement with? Pretty sure one of the DUP redlines will be defence of the realm.
      Treasury need to recognise – defence matters.
      Stand by for resignations and MP’s crossing the floor.
      Torrid now leading by 8 and budget is done.
      May election anyone??

  6. Gavin Williamson “shocked” by proposals put before him. Says £2 billion per annum extra is required and wants to meet Hammond ASAP……..Thirty plus Tory MP’S threaten to rebel if cuts go ahead.


  7. Agree Geoff we all need to write to our MPs immediately
    if we cannot afford defence why the heck are we sending £13 billion a year on foreign aid.
    we cannot afford a Brexit divorce bill of £40 billion. The EU do not want to agree a free trade deal so lets just walk away and spend that £40 billion on defence, social care, the nhs, infrastructure, education.
    Put corporation tax back up by 2-3%, the Torries gave big business a tax cut in 2010!
    that will yield £7-8 billion a year
    cut the tax loopholes outlined in the paradise papers that will yield £10-13 billion a year.
    There is a choice here we either choose to fund defence properly or not.
    sending 2 of our type 23 frigates to Japanese waters is hilarious when the mandarins in the MOD propose to cut the type 23 fleet by another 2 ships.
    also propose selling off our last amphibious assault ships and hms ocean. Just great…well done Torrie government, you are going really well…..not!
    utter shambles
    makes you embarrased to call yourself British.
    i think a few arrests of politicians on charges of treason and dereliction of duty are needed.
    Cameron, Osbourne, Blair, brown, Fallon, Hammond, May, Gove, Borris Johnson all need to go to jail for the damage they have done to the country. Mind you Corbyn would be no better, utterly spineless and cowardly.

    • Putting corporate tax up is a no go, and will need to fall more.

      For the UK to stand on its own post brexit, we need to encourage big businesses to stay / move to the country and raising corporation tax will do the reverse. The reduction in the corp tax is as a result of lower taxes in committing countries, such as ireland, luxemburg etc. Its not the same as employee personal tax, where we don’t have much choice but to pay it.

      Same with the tax loopholes, they are there for a reason, they are there to encourage wealthy individuals and companies to move to the UK and in turn bring jobs with them.

      We are in a global economy, you can’t just increase corp tax and sudenly think it will fix everything. If tesco ups its petrol price 2-3% above another supermarket it loses customers fast, same with corp tax.

      The country is broke, its the reality and so unfortunately cuts are needed to public spending. Any potential benefits from brexit are still 3 or more years away, and realistically probably 20 considering the divorce bill.

  8. Back to military matters the north Koreans are using their large fleet of conventional powered old subs as their sole ballistic missile launch platform.
    they have such a large sub fleet they could threaten a surface warship group hence why sub hunting with type 23s is potentially going to be the most important factor alongside airpower in any Korean conflict.

  9. You know – we dont have to leave the EU to give Brexiteers what they want.

    We just say we will remain then refuse to accept those areas of EU legislation we dont like, that is what Germany, France and Italy in particular do.

    We should also state that the UK will not put a penny more into the EU without a fully verified and audited set of accounts (they have never been able to do this – not once).

    Net result – we remain in the EU – have a hard border where we want and actually start putting in other laws that take precedence over EU law.

    Just be really belligerent with them – but dont leave….

  10. Paceman you raise a good point. I never voted for Brexit, yet was prepared to support Brexit due to principles of living in a democracy.
    I think if Brexit is going to cost the UK so much that our armed forces will be so weakened we should remain in the EU.
    besides which being outside the EU means we cannot moderate the EUs behaviour.
    The NAO are now reporting that by 2025 the uk will be £70-80 billion a year worse off outside the EU then within.
    If we as a nation decide that remaining is better then leaving we should do entirely what France, Holland, Germany, Italy do and choose the bits of EU legislation they will follow and ignore those bits they do not like.
    Although I think all 4 freedoms or principles are the sticking points. We voted Brexit for sovereignty and to control net migration. Only leaving the EU superstate will provide those 2 points. So all this is the cost of sovereignty? Time to put up taxes to pay for vital public services like defence, infrastructure, education, social care and the NHS. 3-5p in every pound rise in income tax will provide the necessary boast to tax revenue needed.

    • Brexit campaign was flawed but successful. In Wilshire virtually all I saw were UKIP posters or Leave.
      Everyone going on about controls we would have. Rubbish as one of our closest allies Ireland threatening to delay Brexit. We will spend more on border controls which could be spent on defence (and will fail anyway because we will have more asylum seekers anyway).
      We have a declining economy in terms of growth, where manufacturing which is small enough, sees firms indicating long term transfer to Europe.
      We used to produce likes of home-owned helicopters which are now foreign owned.
      BAE and Rolls Royce have virtual monopoly and produce Destroyers costing £1Bn each and don’t work!
      This country was a joke in 70s re strikes etc. We owe more and produce less than we did then.
      We barely keep firms here with effective subsidies re lower tax and tax havens.
      We are a declining influence and we will certainly see accelerated decline post Brexit.
      I am 60yo Brit but glad no kids to worry about. If I had option to go to Holland, Germany or Poland, I would go tomorrow. Sadly pension and health issues prevent this.
      EU economy on recovery with growth. Germany building 5 new Destroyers.
      Great Brition doesn’t exist. Half population against other half.

  11. I see North Korea has just launched another ballistic missile which has overflown Japanese air space. Have to say the Japanese are being very restraimed about this. Would be nice to send a Type 45 and let it have a crack at shooting down the next one.

    • I thought it had been discussed already here that T45 cannot do that yet?

      Personally I’d keep the hell out of it and concentrate on NATO Europe and combating terrorists throughout the Middle East.

      Even if we could I’d doubt the yanks would let us! They’d want the Kudos themselves.

      • Yeh, your’re right. Just letting my imagination run away with me. MBDA say Aster Block 1 NT can hit tactical ballistic missiles but Kim already has ICBMs so only the US systems will do.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here