Type 23 Frigate HMS Westminster’s refit and future status have sparked queries in the House of Commons, with John Healey, the Shadow Secretary of State for Defence, seeking clarification.
In September 2022, HMS Westminster played a notable role in Operation Atlantic Thunder 22, discharging two Harpoon missiles in collaboration with US forces, leading to the sinking of the decommissioned US frigate, USS Boone.
John Healey posed the question: “To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the status of HMS Westminster is; and whether his Department has made a decision on modernisation.”
James Cartlidge, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, responded, “HMS Westminster remains in Devonport dockyard and is part of a modernisation programme being implemented to all Type 23s that are in upkeep. We do not disclose the fine detail of forward availability forecasts to preserve the operational security of the Fleet.”
Adding context, HMS Westminster was recently moved from the Frigate Support Centre to 4 Basin in Devonport, likely for a long-term lay-up, signalling a possible decision on its disposal.
This action followed reports from 2023 suggesting that the ship’s intended two-year refit, started in October 2022 to extend its service until 2028-29, was abandoned due to prohibitive costs and the deteriorating condition of the vessel.