Now the most powerful and advanced frigate in the fleet, HMS Westminster is due to be handed back to the Royal Navy next spring.
The Type 23 Frigate the first ship to receive the Sea Ceptor missile system, which is also being installed on sister ships Argyll and Montrose during their refits in Devonport.
In addition the Artisan radar, which is rapidly becoming prevalent on the Type 23s, can track more than 800 objects simultaneously as close as 200 metres and as far away as 200,000m.
The Type 23 frigates form the core of the Royal Navy’s 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.
Commanding Officer Cdr Simon Kelly said:
“HMS Westminster is emerging from an extended refit period as one of the most capable surface ships in the Royal Navy.
She has benefited from a number of significant upgrades many of which the Royal Navy will invest in the future Type 26 Frigate. The partnership with BAE Systems throughout this period has been excellent, for which I thank all of the team.”
Richard Dingley, Fleet Services director at BAE Systems, said:
“HMS Westminster’s upkeep programme confirms the company’s ship support capabilities and sustains the Royal Navy’s desire for the long term availability of their ships.
We are continuing to deliver support to more than half of the Royal Navy’s surface fleet. This includes technical services, training solutions and modernisation programmes, as well as maintenance, repair and upgrades to ships and equipment.
Our attention will now focus on returning to the fleet as an operational warship next year.”