The Ministry of Defence has signed an £85 million contract with Rolls-Royce to maintain the engines of the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate fleet.

The MoD say in a release that the contract includes a comprehensive support package to Spey gas turbines, including the overhaul of engines, provision of spares, as well as engineering and safety support.

“Updates to the turbines are vital as they boost propulsion in the Type-23 Frigates. They are also key pieces of equipment for Anti-Submarine Warfare.”

Defence Minister Stuart Andrew announced the contract at HMNB Devonport where he saw Thursday War training which prepares the Royal Navy for war-fighting, humanitarian relief and emergency situations through a variety of drills and exercises.

The Type 23 is propelled by a CODLAG Diesel-electric/gas system including four diesel generators and two Rolls-Royce Spey turbines, as used in the Type 22, not to mention frigates and destroyer export orders worldwide.

The given top speed is 28 knots, although Sutherland has achieved 34.4 knots under trials.

Defence Minister Stuart Andrew said:

“This £85m contract demonstrates the UK’s commitment to modernisation through the maintenance of our formidable Type-23s. This work continues the British tradition of supporting our closest allies and solidifying our global position as world-leaders in advanced maritime technology and development.”

The contract is expected to deliver a £35 million increase in savings to the MoD over the next eight years, by incentivising Rolls-Royce to improve repair schemes, minimise unnecessary work and procure spares at a lower cost.

Matt Nadin, Director Naval Fleet Services at Rolls-Royce said:

“This vital support contract builds upon our Rolls-Royce target to achieve and sustain increased Spey engine availability to the Royal Navy and their NATO partners, The Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal.”

The contract will see Rolls-Royce overhaul thirty of the engines from the UK and NATO partners Belgium, Portugal and the Netherlands.

Rolls-Royce will project manage the support contract, while the main overhaul and repair work will be carried out by RWG based in Aberdeen.

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I firmly believed the first Type26 was due in service in 2022….okay, I was being nieve. The date is more likely to be 2025/6, which is a hell of a long time considering the last Type23 will decommission sometime around 3005? I don’t envy warship designers, as the time from conception to actually seeing the first vessel in the water is inordinately long!


Yeah quite a lot more time to go than the 18 years they were designed for! They were all planned originally to be out of service by now, so we’ve got good use out of them!

Also incredible is the RR Spey – what an engine, so many uses, so many vehicles, so many users…


Amazing isn’t it an engine designed 70 years ago still doing its job. Hell whatever happened to our engineering reputation in the mean time .. At least that below the very top end. Even Goering whinged about getting an English radio after the war as theirs were so useless. Had to laugh at that one. How perceptions have changed.

Graham Johnson

What happened in the last 70 years . Simply we ve mostly had Tory governments who always cut defence spending . The EU .


Not always but frequently yes. Labour in the other hand always slashes defence and only spends to keep U.K. workers in jobs, regardless of work quality or military need.

Paul T

I think HMS Glasgow is not scheduled to be fully operational till 2027 -splitting hair’s but still seems an age away.


In many ways, the 26 is flexible enough to take additional or alternative weapon fits, which is just as well, considering the inordinate time it will take before all eight are in service.


34.4 knots is impressive.


Not really.

The Big Man

Yes it is.


Yes really.

Steve Taylor

That’s an odd comparison comparing T23 with T21.


Anyone complaining about our engineering should read up on the ‘new’ Berlin airport, plus of course the shambles that is the German navy. We have some excellent engineering capability, we just need to support it properly.

Back on topic, the T23s are impressive ships. They might be old and patched up somewhat but they do their job.


They are complete junk,the sooner they are taken to Turkey the better.


Have you served on one? A friend of mine does and he loves it, he describes it as a loyal old dog that has been around the block but does its job. I’m not sure about that analogy for a warship myself though!