Type 23 Frigate HMS Westminster is now back at sea after a major refit sporting a new radar and a new missile system.
Chief Petty Officer Andrew Buckley said:
“Having taken Westminster out of build, I am proud to be taking her back out to sea after this extensive refit. Although many things have changed about the ship materially, the ship’s company are just as proud to be serving on her as they were at day one.”
The Type 23 Frigate fleet are undergoing Life Extension (LIFEX) upgrades. The programme will help to de-risk the future transition into service of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship and sees the vessels receive Sea Ceptor, replacing Sea Wolf and the new Artisan 3D radar.
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.