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HMS Norfolk: Type 23 (Duke Class) Frigate (2 of 2)


Picture of Picture of HMS Norfolk, a Type 23 (Duke Class) Frigate (2 of 2)

Picture of HMS Norfolk, a Type 23 (Duke Class) Frigate.

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Type 23 Frigate


23型巡防舰

23型巡防舰,也称为公爵级,是英國皇家海軍的一种巡防艦,各艦皆以英國的公爵封號命名。首艦 諾福克號 ( 英语 : HMS Norfolk (F230) ) 1987年7月下水,最後一艘 聖奧爾本斯號 ( 英语 : HMS St Albans (F83) ) 於2002年6月服役,23型計建造16艘,目前仍有13艘服役於皇家海軍並和45型驱逐舰同為英国皇家海军水面舰艇的主力,2000年代將3艘轉售智利,其餘艦艇將於2020年代開始由26型和31型巡防艦汰換。

  • 複合柴油電力與燃氣推進 ( 英语 : Combined diesel-electric and gas ) :
  • 4具 1510 kW (2,025 shp) Paxman Valenta ( 英语 : Paxman Valenta ) 12CM 汽油發電機
  • 兩具GEC馬達 輸出 2980kW (4000 shp)
  • 兩具 Rolls-Royce Spey ( 英语 : Rolls-Royce Marine Spey ) SM1C 輸出 23,190 kW (31,100 shp)
  • 對空飛彈
  • 反艦飛彈
  • 反潛魚雷
  • 火炮

隨後Yarrow船廠根據計劃綱要進行細部設計與建造準備工作,當時英國的造艦業對新設計的巡防艦案抱持相當高的期望,希望藉此提出一種性能優良的設計,挽回當時軍艦市場大多被西德MEKO以及義大利狼級巡防艦囊括的情況,但在Yarrow廠詳細檢討後,認為如果需滿足控制造價在7000萬英鎊以內,船艦標準排水量就必須限制在 2500噸以下,艦長只有100公尺,僅22型巡防艦的2/3 [釋注 1] ,續航力與適航性將難以在海象惡劣的北大西洋長期作業,防空火力也難以在蘇聯航空兵力威脅半徑內有效生存。權衡之後,皇家海軍修改了參謀綱要計畫,將艦體長度增加到115m,增加直昇機庫使之能長期搭載與操作直昇機。

改裝 编辑

最初 皇家海軍只打算讓23型巡防艦服役18年,亦不打算在服役期間進行大規模更新翻修,但隨著後繼的未来水面作战舰艇(Future Surface Combact,FSC)一再推遲並於2004年11月取消,迫使皇家海軍延長役期至22年,並規劃從2005年起進行壽命中期翻修與改良工程,每艘改造工程需時12-18個月,花費約1500-2000萬英鎊。

2010年3月25日,英国国防部与BAE System签署一纸为期四年、总值1.27亿英镑的全球作战舰艇(Global Combat Ship,GCS)合约,负责研发/设计用来取代22型/23型的新型水面舰艇(即26型巡防舰),26型巡防艦首舰格拉斯哥号预计于2021年服役,届时皇家海军现有的23型巡防舰部分将由26型巡防舰替换 [3] ,而23型的 阿蓋爾號 ( 英语 : HMS Argyll (F231) ) 預計在2023年退役,而聖奧爾本斯號預計在2036年退役。 [4]

提前除役轉售智利 编辑

2004年7月,英國宣布由於財政困難2004年7月宣布裁减皇家海軍舰队规模,其中23型由16艘縮減至13艘,因此诺福克号(HMS Norfolk F230)、格拉夫頓號(HMS Grafton F80)与馬爾博羅號(HMS Marlborough F233)先后除役,羿年9月7日,英国与智利簽約將三艦以1亿35万英镑的总价售予智利。首艘诺福克号于2006年移交给智利,更名为考科藍海軍上將號(Almirante Cochrane FF-05),同年11月22日成军;格拉夫頓號于2007年移交,命名为林奇海軍上將號(Almirante Lynch FF-07),2007年3月28日成军;而馬爾博羅號则于2008年移交,命名为康德爾海軍上將號(Almirante Condell FF-06),2008年5月28日成軍 [5] 。

此后,由于财政持续恶化,皇家海军被迫在2011年1月到4月间将4艘22型第三批次的康沃尔号(HMS Cornwall F99)、坎伯兰号(HMS Cumberland F85)、坎贝尔敦号(HMS Campbeltown F86)和查塔姆号(HMS Chatham F87)除役,23型成为皇家海军唯一現役的巡防艦 [6] 。

服役歷史 编辑

由於波斯灣海域於2019年中旬多次發生油輪遭到不明水面、空中武器襲擊的事件 [釋注 2] ,故皇家海軍將 Martlet飛彈 ( 英语 : Martlet (missile) ) [釋注 3] 的五聯裝發射器加裝於艦載DS-30 MKII機砲武器站右側,以對付突然迫近的有人或無人快艇,並在2019年7月中旬由桑德蘭號首次試射。


Type 23 Duke Class frigate deployments and test firings

HMS St Albans assisted in the evacuation of UK nationals from Beirut during the Israel / Lebanon conflict, as part of the Royal Navy Operation Highbrow in July 2006.

In late July 2011, British Royal Navy frigate Type 23 Duke-class HMS Sutherland conducted a boarding operation in international waters close to Libya. This operation was to prevent the flow of illegal weapons into the hands of pro-Gaddafi forces to protect Libyan civilians.

The British Royal Navy conducted test firing of the Sea Ceptor air defence missile system from HMS Argyll and HMS Westminster in December 2017. It was followed by the test firing of the Martlet missile, which was fitted on an MSI Defence 30mm remote weapon station from HMS Sutherland in July 2019.


THE TYPE 23 DUKE CLASS FRIGATE

This paper is in essence a sequel to the paper by Admiral Sir Lindsay Bryson RN (Ret'd) on the "Procurement of a Warship" presented to the RINA in 1984. That paper fully explored the Historical and Procurement aspects of this new class of ASW warship and outlined the determination of the final Naval Staff Requirement in 1983, including the effects of the Falklands Conflict. This paper will be confined to that final requirement and will seek to show how cost reduction, of both initial and through-life cost, was the dominant feature of the evolution of the design. The two key issues of Low Complement and Design for Modern Production Methods are discussed in the appropriate sections. The paper also indicates what performance has been achieved on the basis of trials completed to date on HMS NORFOLK - the First of Class ship - which is still engaged on a comprehensive First of Class trials programme. The paper outlines how a typical modern Warship Construction Yard, has developed new design and production methods including advanced outfitting, as part of the drive for reduced first costs in a competitive regime. Finally, the paper reviews the success of the Customer/Contractor relationships used on the programme which at the time were quite novel, and the effects of the procurement strategy followed by the Customer.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Naval Architect, Oct 1992, p 191 [23 p, 6 ref, 10 fig]
    • Thomas, T R
    • Easton, M S

    Aircraft carrying capabilities and ARTISAN radar

    HMS Iron Duke carries the Merlin Mk1 helicopter, which can be used in a variety of roles. A prototype Wildcat helicopter, which is a successor to the Lynx helicopter, underwent extensive trials aboard the ship in January 2012 for 20 days. The Wildcat helicopter is scheduled to serve all Royal Navy frigates from 2015.

    The trials, completed in February 2012, were part of an evaluation programme aimed at testing the capabilities of the helicopter.

    HMS Iron Duke is the first frigate is in the Type 23 class to be fitted with the ARTISAN radar from BAE Systems.

    The radar has been fitted as part of the refit programme. It is also part of the Royal Navy’s £100m programme to equip its frigates, ships and Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers with the radar. The new radar replaces the Type 996 surveillance radar.

    The Artisan radar, designated as Type 997, can monitor more than 800 objects simultaneously. It is constructed of lightweight carbon glass fibre. The radar has a range of 200m to 200,000m and weighs 700kg. The radar has the capability to detect anything as small as a tennis ball travelling at three times the speed of sound.

    The Global Naval Surface Combatants and Warfare Systems Market 2011-2021

    This project forms part of our recent analysis and forecasts of the global naval surface combatants and warfare systems market available from our business information platform Strategic Defence Intelligence. For more information click here or contact us: EMEA: +44 20 7936 6783 Americas: +1 415 439 4914 Asia Pacific: +61 2 9947 9709 or via email.

    Related content


    A guide to the Type 23 Frigate

    At the time Britain was locked in a pre-apocalyptic arms race with the Soviet Union, and thus all developments across the three services were geared to one thing: World War III.

    In few places was this more keenly felt than the navy, for whom this mean open-ocean symmetrical warfare against the Communist forces. To be precise, Anti-Submarine Warfare.

    HMS Monmouth, the ‘Black Duke’, as she sails to the Middle East in 2011.

    This was due to the fact that Western war plans were centred on the concept of a submarine rush through the GIUK (Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom) Gap.

    The Soviet navy was very much based around deepwater submarine operations, and was building up a formidable fleet of SSNs- Nuclear-powered attack submarines. Their naval tactics were centred around flooding the Atlantic with these hunter-killer boats, sinking Military and Merchant ships alike. While surface ships did of course feature, they existed to follow the submarine squadrons in, supporting them and mopping up with anti-ship missiles and light air cover (the Kiev class is an excellent example of this, a jack-of-all-trades pocket carrier/guided missile platform intended to support SSN operations).

    The Type 23 Frigates have had a lengthy service life.

    This was in sharp contrast to the US Navy, which at the time was building a more balance force centred around Carrier Battle Groups. As the first in the firing line, Britain would have to change- and so in the 70’s, we did.

    Having already lost our battleship in 1960, we now focussed on cutting the large, catapult-equipped carriers and instead moved towards dedicated anti-submarine operations. This we did, instead designing a three-ship class of light ASW carriers, the legendary Invincible Class, which initially were envisaged to be primarily helicopter equipped, flying the equally legendary Sea Harrier for the purposes of air cover, primarily not against Soviet naval aviation but long-range Maritime Bombers. So, this is how things stood in the late 1970’s: ASW operations, ASW operations and ASW operations.

    HMS Monmouth, a Type 23 Frigate.

    Naturally, the centre of these plans would be the Frigate. Whereas our destroyers (at the time, the Type 42 Sheffield class) were designed for anti-air warfare, playing escort to the carriers, frigates would be the hunters of the force, ranging far and wide to track and kill the ‘reds’. At the time, we operated three classes of frigate: the venerable Leander Class, dating back to 1960, which had been the one-size-fits-all post-WWII frigate which was now specialising in the submarine work with a class of 26 vessels, the 1974 Type 21, a more general escort with a more modern design and a class of 8, and the upcoming Type 22, a fully specialised sub hunter that was under construction in the late 70’s with a class of 14.

    The plan was design a light ASW frigate that would be able to act in support of the larger Type 22, providing the wide coverage that was all-important to ASW operations. The intention was for this to be a fully specialised ship, with a towed array- the latest must-have convenience for the modern sub hunter- and be able to carry a small helicopter to deal with them. It was to be given no defensive armament, a rather staggering prospect to today’s world of multiroling, and was envisaged to be fielded in squadrons of four.

    HMS Sutherland sailing from HMNB Devonport, Plymouth.

    Each of these far-ranging units would be supported by a Fort Victoria class replenishment vessel, which would be operating as a sort of catch-all mothership, providing air cover with Sea Wolf AA missiles and with hangar facilities to service the helicopters of the frigates (something that the ships themselves would be lacking). But, perhaps fortunately, this never came to pass.

    In 1982, the Argentine Junta invaded the Falklands Islands, a far-flung British colony in the South Atlantic. When the taskforce sailed, they rapidly found themselves under air attack, and the loss of several vessels and the damaging of several more rapidly made several things clear:

    • Aircraft still indisputably posed a threat to ships.
    • Centralised Air Defence may not be enough: ships would need the ability to defend themselves.
    • The Argentine anti-shipping attacks had come in two forms: the Exocet, a terrifyingly effective and very modern sea-skimming missile that would require up-to-date tracking measures to detect and modern interception technology to take down, and older conventional bombing. While we were immensely fortunate in that very few 1000pd bombs dropped actually detonated (if the argentine air force had realised the fuse problem at the beginning of the war then subsequent events would have been very, very different) there was still a salient point there. What this proved was that air defence was simply crucial for vessels.

    After the war, the Type 23 programme rapidly began to evolve. First to appear was the very significant decision to include a VLS (Vertical Launch System) equipped with Sea Wolf, which in turn meant a larger radar and tracking suite, which would be crucial for dealing with anti-ship missiles. With the ship growing to accommodate the VLS and the extra super structural equipment, the two main additions were placed in to make this once and for all a larger and more complex design: a multirole Naval Gun (something that had proved its worth for anti-shore work in the Falklands) and a hangar, which was a simple practicality now that the hull size had grown.

    HMS Iron Duke leads a squadron of smaller craft.

    With a gun, hangar and VLS added, followed shortly by a Harpoon system, the Type 23 had become a large all-rounder that, while maintaining its ASW capability, had become a self-contained vessel in its own right- and the rest, as they say, is history. Surfing on the wave created by rapid rise of pro-Naval sentiment in parliament created by the Senior Service’s time in the limelight during the Falklands (including the tearing up of the 1981 review, but that’s a story for another day), the ship had become a colossally flexible vessel that now eclipsed the Type 22 itself- primarily because it had been amended post-Falklands, which meant that they could work with an essentially clean slate.

    HMS Portland fires a Sea Wolf missile in the Gibraltar Exercise Areas.

    Overall 16 were built, with the class being named the Duke class after the common theme of the names being, you guessed it, Dukes. The first ship, Norfolk F230, was laid down in 1985 and finally launched in 1990, and the final ship, St. Albans F83, was launched in 2002.

    By that point the Berlin Wall had fallen and the Cold War had ended, meaning that the focus would once more shift towards more general naval operations. It is this that makes the Type 23 so interesting as it was designed during the Cold War yet launched and operated entirely after it- and so these post-Falklands design changes, seen in the ASW navy as being somewhere between useful but not necessarily and overly complicated were now the reason that the class had been saved. By diversifying its capability, the Government had unwittingly secured its future.

    Image of HMS Queen Elizabeth, seen here with HMS Iron Duke in the foreground.

    Design

    The Type 23 displaces a total of 4900 tons, with a length of 133m, a beam of 16.1m and a draught of 7.3 metres. This can be compared to the Type 22 Batch 3 (in many ways a similar vessel, though without a VLS), displacing 5300 tons and 148.1m long, the Type 21, 3360 tons and 117m long, and the Leander class, 2962 tons and 113.4m long. The Type 23 has a complement of 185, relatively low for the period, which was largely due to experiences in the Falklands.

    Propulsion

    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. The range of the vessel is 7500 nautical miles at 15 knots.

    HMS Argyll after seizing over 1,600kg in recent months.

    Armament

    The most noticeable item that the ship is equipped with is the BAE Mark VIII 4.5” Naval Gun.

    It is essentially identical to that operated by the Type 42 and 45 destroyers. Between 2005 and 2012, the 13 remaining ships all had their guns upgraded to the Mod 1 standard by Babcock Marine, noticeable for its stealthy design. The ships are also currently having their DS30B 30mm guns replaced by the newer DS30M, designed for close-in defence against fast moving attack craft.

    The anti-air warfare is provided by a 32-cell VLS system designed for the Sea Wolf missile system. The original Sea Wolf (of Fort Victoria intention) was in a non-VLS launch design, which was problematic due to the issue of the hull of the ship getting in the way of the missile launch (another problem identified in the Falklands). With a VLS (a new innovation for the 80’s and famed for it’s key role in such famous designs as Arleigh Burke), the missiles could clear the hull of the ship before igniting, vastly improving the anti-capability over the originally planned conventionally launched missiles. Considering that the ship was intended to have no anti-air capability at all, that is rather impressive! Currently, the Sea Wolf missiles are being replaced by the newer Sea Ceptor CAMM design, notable for the fact that four missiles can fit into one Sea Wolf VLS tube. This gives Type 23 excellent self-defence AA coverage.

    The anti-submarine capability is provided by Stingray anti-submarine torpedoes, fired from two tubes. In addition to that, the Type 23 can carry a single Merlin HC1, the airborne submarine hunter of the Royal Navy and sometimes quoted as the ‘flying frigate’ for obvious reasons. The Merlin is equipped with dipping sonar, sonobuoys and depth charges, ideal for ASW operations.

    The anti-shipping capability is provided by the ubiquitous Harpoon missile, a US designed anti-ship missile was originally launched in 1977 and since then has provided both the US and Royal navies (not to mention many others) with excellent anti-surface capability- made all the better by the fact that the missiles are stored in simple bolt-on racks rather than a more complex deck-penetrating VLS system, which would potentially make reloading a more complicated affair. The Type 23 has two of these four-missile racks.

    Sensors and electronics

    Currently, the Type 23 is undergoing as a class the replacement of the older Type 996 radar with the newer and far more capable Type 997 Artisan 3D radar system.

    This is reportedly 5 times more capable and was also fitted to the Queen Elizabeth and Albion classes. The ships are fitted with two Marconi Type 991 systems for fire control, linked up to the aforementioned Sea Wolf system.

    /> HMS Iron Duke fitted with Artisan, the first of the Type 23’s to receive the RADAR

    This provides vastly superior radar coverage to anything that we operated in the Falklands, and will be the key to identifying and downing any incoming offensive action in any future conflict. In the ASW department, the ships are also fitted with a Thales Type 2050 bow sonar array. In addition to this, five of the Type 23s are equipped with Type 2031Z towed sonar arrays, with the other eight bringing Type 2087 to the table.

    Factor in the airborne ASW capability, and the end product is a vessel with simply superb anti-submarine capability that leaves us in absolutely no doubt as to what it was originally designed for! Kelvin Hughes Type 1007 and Racal Decca Type 1008 provide navigational coverage, with the Sea Archer 30 being in charge of fire-control. The CMS, or Combat Management System, is provided by BAE Systems with the Command System DNA.

    Summary

    Throughout its lifetime, the Type 23 frigate has been at the forefront of British overseas activity. They are regularly used in drug-interdiction raids in the Caribbean, with raids netting millions in cocaine or heroin.

    They have been used in disaster relief operations in overseas territories and beyond, and even in the evacuation of British civilians from Libya in 2011 during Operation Ellamy. Over the last 20+ years, whenever a British carrier or assault ship has left port, there has always been a Type 23 to be seen nearby, prowling the surrounding waters.

    They have been true messengers of British strategic intent, and will continue to do so until 2036, when the new Type 26 – Type 23 on steroids would be a pretty good way of describing it- will replace the last ‘Duke’ class.


    The Type 23 ‘Duke class’ Frigate: A Guide

    At the time Britain was locked in a pre-apocalyptic arms race with the Soviet Union, and thus all developments across the three services were geared to one thing: World War III. In few places was this more keenly felt than the navy, for whom this mean open-ocean symmetrical warfare against the Communist forces.

    To be precise, Anti-Submarine Warfare. This was due to the fact that Western war plans were centred on the concept of a submarine rush through the GIUK (Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom) Gap.

    The Soviet navy was very much based around deepwater submarine operations, and was building up a formidable fleet of SSNs- Nuclear-powered attack submarines. Their naval tactics were centred around flooding the Atlantic with these hunter-killer boats, sinking Military and Merchant ships alike. While surface ships did of course feature, they existed to follow the submarine squadrons in, supporting them and mopping up with anti-ship missiles and light air cover (the Kiev class is an excellent example of this, a jack-of-all-trades pocket carrier/ guided missile platform intended to support SSN operations).

    This was in sharp contrast to the US navy, which at the time was building a more balance force centred around Carrier Battle Groups. As the first in the firing line, Britain would have to change- and so in the 70’s, we did.

    Having already lost our battleship in 1960, we now focussed on cutting the large, catapult-equipped carriers and instead moved towards dedicated anti-submarine operations. This we did, instead designing a three-ship class of light ASW carriers, the legendary Invincible Class, which initially were envisaged to be primarily helicopter equipped, flying the equally legendary Sea Harrier for the purposes of air cover, primarily not against Soviet naval aviation but long-range Maritime Bombers. So, this is how things stood in the late 1970’s: ASW operations, ASW operations and ASW operations.

    Naturally, the centre of these plans would be the Frigate. Whereas our destroyers (at the time, the Type 42 Sheffield class) were designed for anti-air warfare, playing escort to the carriers, frigates would be the hunters of the force, ranging far and wide to track and kill the ‘reds’. At the time, we operated three classes of frigate: the venerable Leander Class, dating back to 1960, which had been the one-size-fits-all post-WWII frigate which was now specialising in the submarine work with a class of 26 vessels, the 1974 Type 21, a more general escort with a more modern design and a class of 8, and the upcoming Type 22, a fully specialised sub hunter that was under construction in the late 70’s with a class of 14.

    The plan was design a light ASW frigate that would be able to act in support of the larger Type 22, providing the wide coverage that was all-important to ASW operations. The intention was for this to be a fully specialised ship, with a towed array- the latest must-have convenience for the modern sub hunter- and be able to carry a small helicopter to deal with them. It was to be given no defensive armament, a rather staggering prospect to today’s world of multiroling, and was envisaged to be fielded in squadrons of four.

    Each of these far-ranging units would be supported by a Fort Victoria class replenishment vessel, which would be operating as a sort of catch-all mothership, providing air cover with Sea Wolf AA missiles and with hangar facilities to service the helicopters of the frigates (something that the ships themselves would be lacking). But, perhaps fortunately, this never came to pass.

    In 1982, the Argentine Junta invaded the Falklands Islands, a far-flung British colony in the South Atlantic. When the taskforce sailed, they rapidly found themselves under air attack, and the loss of several vessels and the damaging of several more rapidly made several things clear:

    • Aircraft still indisputably posed a threat to ships.
    • Centralised Air Defence may not be enough: ships would need the ability to defend themselves.
    • The Argentine anti-shipping attacks had come in two forms: the Exocet, a terrifyingly effective and very modern sea-skimming missile that would require up-to-date tracking measures to detect and modern interception technology to take down, and older conventional bombing. While we were immensely fortunate in that very few 1000pd bombs dropped actually detonated (if the argentine air force had realised the fuse problem at the beginning of the war then subsequent events would have been very, very different) there was still a salient point there. What this proved was that air defence was simply crucial for vessels.

    After the war, the Type 23 program rapidly began to evolve. First to appear was the very significant decision to include a VLS (Vertical Launch System) equipped with Sea Wolf, which in turn meant a larger radar and tracking suite, which would be crucial for dealing with anti-ship missiles. With the ship growing to accommodate the VLS and the extra super structural equipment, the two main additions were placed in to make this once and for all a larger and more complex design: a multirole Naval Gun (something that had proved its worth for anti-shore work in the Falklands) and a hangar, which was a simple practicality now that the hull size had grown.

    With a gun, hangar and VLS added, followed shortly by a Harpoon system, the Type 23 had become a large all-rounder that, while maintaining its ASW capability, had become a self-contained vessel in its own right- and the rest, as they say, is history. Surfing on the wave created by rapid rise of pro-Naval sentiment in parliament created by the Senior Service’s time in the limelight during the Falklands (including the tearing up of the 1981 review, but that’s a story for another day), the ship had become a colossally flexible vessel that now eclipsed the Type 22 itself- primarily because it had been amended post-Falklands, which meant that they could work with an essentially clean slate. Overall 16 were built, with the class being named the Duke class after the common theme of the names being, you guessed it, Dukes.

    The first ship, Norfolk F230, was laid down in 1985 and finally launched in 1990, and the final ship, St. Albans F83, was launched in 2002. By that point the Berlin Wall had fallen and the Cold War had ended, meaning that the focus would once more shift towards more general naval operations. It is this that makes the Type 23 so interesting as it was designed during the Cold War yet launched and operated entirely after it- and so these post-Falklands design changes, seen in the ASW navy as being somewhere between useful but not necessarily and overly complicated were now the reason that the class had been saved. By diversifying its capability, the Government had unwittingly secured its future.

    The Type 23 displaces a total of 4900 tons, with a length of 133m, a beam of 16.1m and a draught of 7.3 metres. This can be compared to the Type 22 Batch 3 (in many ways a similar vessel, though without a VLS), displacing 5300 tons and 148.1m long, the Type 21, 3360 tons and 117m long, and the Leander class, 2962 tons and 113.4m long. The Type 23 has a complement of 185, relatively low for the period, which was largely due to experiences in the Falklands.

    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. The range of the vessel is 7500 nautical miles at 15 knots, a vast improvement over the 1200 nm of the Type 21. This endurance is crucial to the role that the T23 occupies in the modern day- more of that later.

    The most noticeable item that the ship is equipped with is the BAE Mark VIII 4.5” Naval Gun. It is essentially identical to that operated by the Type 42 and 45 destroyers. Between 2005 and 2012, the 13 remaining ships all had their guns upgraded to the Mod 1 standard by Babcock Marine, noticeable for its stealthy design. The ships are also currently having their DS30B 30mm guns replaced by the newer DS30M, designed for close-in defence against fast moving attack craft.

    The anti-air warfare is provided by a 32-cell VLS system designed for the Sea Wolf missile system. The original Sea Wolf (of Fort Victoria intention) was in a non-VLS launch design, which was problematic due to the issue of the hull of the ship getting in the way of the missile launch (another problem identified in the Falklands).

    With a VLS (a new innovation for the 80’s and famed for it’s key role in such famous designs as Arleigh Burke), the missiles could clear the hull of the ship before igniting, vastly improving the anti-capability over the originally planned conventionally launched missiles. Considering that the ship was intended to have no anti-air capability at all, that is rather impressive! Currently, the Sea Wolf missiles are being replaced by the newer Sea Ceptor CAMM design, notable for the fact that four missiles can fit into one Sea Wolf VLS tube. This gives Type 23 excellent self-defence AA coverage.

    The anti-submarine capability is provided by Stingray anti-submarine torpedoes, fired from two tubes. In addition to that, the Type 23 can carry a single Merlin HC1, the airborne submarine hunter of the Royal Navy and sometimes quoted as the ‘flying frigate’ for obvious reasons. The Merlin is equipped with dipping sonar, sonobouys and depth charges, ideal for ASW operations.

    The anti-shipping capability is provided by the ubiquitous Harpoon missile, a US designed anti-ship missile was originally launched in 1977 and since then has provided both the US and Royal navies (not to mention many others) with excellent anti-surface capability- made all the better by the fact that the missiles are stored in simple bolt-on racks rather than a more complex deck-penetrating VLS system, which would potentially make reloading a more complicated affair. The Type 23 has two of these four-missile racks.

    Currently, the Type 23 is undergoing as a class the replacement of the older Type 996 radar with the newer and far more capable Type 997 Artisan 3D radar system. This is reportedly 5 times more capable and will also be fitted to the Queen Elizabeth and Albion classes. The ships are fitted with two Marconi Type 991 systems for fire control, linked up to the aforementioned Sea Wolf system. This provides vastly superior radar coverage to anything that we operated in the Falklands, and will be the key to identifying and downing any incoming offensive action in any future conflict.

    In the ASW department, the ships are also fitted with a Thales Type 2050 bow sonar array. In addition to this, five of the Type 23s are equipped with Type 2031Z towed sonar arrays, with the other eight bringing Type 2087 to the table. Factor in the airborne ASW capability, and the end product is a vessel with simply superb anti-submarine capability that leaves us in absolutely no doubt as to what it was originally designed for! Kelvin Hughes Type 1007 and Racal Decca Type 1008 provide navigational coverage, with the Sea Archer 30 being in charge of fire-control. The CMS, or Combat Management System, is provided by BAE Systems with the Command System DNA.

    Throughout its lifetime, the Type 23 frigate has been at the forefront of British overseas activity. They are regularly used in drug-interdiction raids in the Caribbean, with raids netting millions in cocaine or heroin. They have been used in disaster relief operations in overseas territories and beyond, and even in the evacuation of British civilians from Libya in 2011 during Operation Ellamy.

    Over the last 20+ years, whenever a British carrier or assault ship has left port, there has always been a Type 23 to be seen nearby, prowling the surrounding waters.

    They have been true messengers of British strategic intent, and will continue to do so until 2036, when the new Type 26 Global Combat Ship- Type 23 on steroids would be a pretty good way of describing it- will replace the last ‘Duke’ class. The fact that that is another 24 years away shows that the best out of this excellent piece of British design is still undoubtedly yet to come, and Amen to that!


    First S2150 Sonar Fitted Aboard Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate HMS Portland

    The sonar has been designed by Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems and will replace the legacy Sonar Type 2050, which has been in Royal Navy service since the 1990s. The new sonar incorporates a state of the art User Interface to improve operator effectiveness and usability. The digital control of the outboard array minimises interference, reduces ships cabling, maximises reliability and extends array maintenance intervals to at least 5 years. The sonar will be fitted to eight of the Royal Navy Type 23 frigates. Ultra has also been awarded the contract to supply this sonar to the first three Royal Navy Type 26 frigates currently under construction.

    As part of Ultra’s ‘Sea Searcher’ sonar range, Ultra has also developed two smaller and lighter weight variants of the Type 2150 Hull Mount Sonar for naval vessels up to 1,000 tonnes and 2,000 tonnes respectively.

    HMS Portland is a Type 23 frigate – also known as the Duke-class, since all ships of the class are named after British dukes. Originally designed as anti-submarine vessels, Type 23 frigates have been used in a variety of other roles, from warfighting to maritime security operations. Royal Navy picture.

    With state-of-the art in-board processing and innovative user displays, this family of sonar systems provides a potent Anti-Submarine Warfare capability for patrol vessels, frigates and other vessels worldwide.

    “Reaching this significant milestone has been key for Ultra. With a number of significant changes from the Sonar 2050 system it replaces, the project team has designed and developed a system that simplifies user operability and significantly reduces life cycle costs and in board footprint. They have truly excelled themselves”.


    Mike Williams, Managing Director of Ultra Electronics Command & Sonar Systems

    Progress report – extending the life of Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates

    The programme of LIFEX refits to upgrade and repair the ageing Type 23 frigates fit for service beyond their 30th birthdays continues. While delivering an important capability boost, the work has mostly taken longer than expected and here we look at progress to date.

    Each frigate undergoing life extension (LIFEX) refit has a hull survey and repairs, the Sea Wolf missile system replaced with Sea Ceptor, new Artisan radar (if not already fitted) and miscellaneous other upgrades and refurbishments. Originally it was intended that 11 of the 13 ships would receive the Power Generation Machinery Upgrade (PGMU) engine upgrade, although that number may now be in doubt. (More details of the technical aspects of PGMU are described in our earlier article) Essentially the upgrade involves replacement of the four main propulsion diesel-generator sets to provide much greater fuel efficiency and performance, especially in hotter climates.

    The time spent in refit appears to vary significantly between vessels, somewhere between 19 – 28 months. The impacts of the pandemic clearly do not help but progress was variable, even before lockdown. The main limiting factor appears to be the availability of enough skilled people at Devonport. Discovery of significant hull deterioration and structural problems that need to be rectified on some ships has extended their time in dock.

    Although a very different era, it is interesting to compare the major conversion work to upgrade Leader class frigates that mainly took place at Devonport during the 1970s and averaged around 36 months. The dockyards of the 1970s were in the grip of obstructive unions and notoriously inefficient. The Leander conversions proved to be astronomically expensive and in hindsight, of dubious value for money. Although the failure to begin constructing their replacements sooner is indefensible, the £600M Type 23 LIFEX programme represents relatively good value. In addition to receiving an effective new weapon system, habitability improvements and much else, the service of 13 vessels is being extended for an average of about 8 years.

    Summary of progress, November 2020

    Frigate PGMU status LIFEX refit
    start
    LIFEX refit
    end
    Out of
    service date
    Service remaining (yrs)
    HMS Westminster 2014 Jan 2017 2028 8
    HMS Argyll Jun 2015 Feb 2017 2023 3
    HMS Montrose ? 2015 July 2017 2027 7
    HMS Northumberland May 2016 May 2018 2029 9
    HMS Kent Jan 2017 Aug 2018 2033 13
    HMS Lancaster Mar 2017 Dec 2019 2024 4
    HMS Richmond Aug 2017 Feb 2020 2030 10
    HMS Portland Feb 2018 Mar 2021 2034 14
    HMS Somerset Nov 2018 2021 2031 11
    HMS Iron Duke Mid 2019 2022? 2025 5
    HMS St Albans Mid 2019 2022? 2035 15
    HMS Sutherland Dec 2020 2023? 2032 12
    HMS Monmonth ? ? 2026 6

    (Red – PGMU not planned. Amber – PGMU planned but not done during LIFEX refit. Green – PGMU done or happening during LIFEX refit)

    Assuming that the frigates are very unlikely to be run-on beyond their planned out of service dates, it becomes apparent that the expense of upgrading the engines of 3 more vessels is questionable value for money. HMS Montrose is doing a sterling job forward-deployed in the Arabian Gulf but is not scheduled to return to the UK until 2022. Even if the engine change was completed in under a year, she would emerge with just 4 years or so left before decommissioning. HMS Iron Duke is currently having her LIFEX and was in a particularly poor material state before it began which may extend the time required. If her refit is completed sometime in 2022 she will have just 3 years left to serve.

    There is now some doubt that HMS Monmouth will have LIFEX refit at all and maybe decommissioned prematurely. She has been alongside in Devonport since March 2019, officially she is described as a Fleet Time (FT) unit in Long Readiness (LR). Stripped of her weapons and sensors, the majority of systems are dormant except those required to maintain a habitable environment for watchkeeping and maintenance. She retains a very small duty watch and is occasionally used as static damage control and fire-fighting training platform for crews preparing to take over forward-deployed ships. Due out of service in 2026, she could not be made seaworthy without a LIFEX refit and considerable investment. No decision has been announced but, even before the pressures of the pending defence review, HMS Monmouth looks unlikely ever to go to sea again.

    HMS Richmond working up, transiting in and out of Devonport – her new base port. Note the addition of a new TVRO satellite radome and various new aerials on hangar roof. The other Type 23 allocated to the May 2021 Carrier Strike Group deployment (HMS Kent) has also received the same equipment. (Photo: Kevin Kelway, September 2020).

    Testbed – HMS Richmond

    The first frigate to have the PGMU, HMS Richmond went back to sea in February 2020. Effectively she is the testbed for the engine upgrade which has inevitably extended her work up and return to the fleet. Her refit employed 350 Babcock staff working a total of 1 million man-hours. 8 km of new cable and 600m of new pipework and were installed. The new diesel-generator sets have to be placed into the Forward Auxiliary Machinery Room (FAMR) below decks. The Upper Auxiliary Machinery Room (UAMR) is on main deck level and is more easily accessible via deckhead soft patches but was also completely stripped and much equipment re-sited. Early indications are that the upgrade has been a success but there are still issues to be resolved, especially the integration work with new software upgrades having to be iteratively applied. Once the system is proven and fine-tuned on Richmond, it should be faster to complete the work on the ships following on after in the PGMU programme.

    (Left) Before and (right) after PGMU. The only external difference that indicates HMS Richmond has had new engines – re-shaped FAMR diesel generator uptake shroud on the after side of the mainmast. The shroud covers the hot exhaust pipes and the new shape is designed to direct the hot gas flow away from the mast to prevent it heating up. Many anti-ship missiles utilise infra-red heat-seeking guidance and modern warships are designed to reduce their heat signature as much as possible. (Photo: RFA Nostalgia)

    Next out – HMS Portland

    HMS Portland began her refit in early 2018 and as one of the youngest frigates, she likely required fewer repairs to her hull. She was fitted with Artisan 997 radar for the first time but does not appear to have received the PGMU. She is the first of 8 Type 23 to be fitted with new Ultra Electronics S2150 Bow Mounted Sonar (replacing the legacy Type 2050). This system will also be migrated onto the Type 26s in future. Portland emerged from the FSC sheds in February 2020 but subsequent has progress appears to have been slow, spending most of the year in the basin. She is scheduled to go to sea by Easter 2021 and will belatedly replace HMS Sutherland after she returned to Devonport on 23 October for the last time before entering the LIFEX cycle.

    Beyond LIFEX

    When the final Type 23 completes its engine upgrade, the Frigate Support Centre (FSC) at Devonport will be almost redundant with no major frigate refits required for some time. Both the Type 26 and Type 31s that will join the fleet in future are too large for the three dry docks in the FSC. The facility was completed in 1977 with much smaller Leander class and Type 21 frigates in mind. The dry docks were later lengthened to accommodate the stretched batch II and III Type 22s frigates but the ‘light cruiser-size’ frigates of the 21st Century will have much greater beam, demanding bigger docks.

    Babcock have begun looking at options for re-building the facility to accommodate these ships but such a significant investment would need to be backed by some form of guarantee that they would be allocated refit work. As a Babcock product, they would probably be in a good position to secure maintenance for the Type 31s, although this may be complicated by the intention to forward-deploy them overseas for long periods. BAE Systems would be in the stronger position to win the upkeep work for the Type 26 and would likely want to undertake the work in Portsmouth where they already have a major presence.

    By 2023-24 when the LIFEX programme is complete the RN will face a renewed challenge to find personnel. With so many frigates unmanned during the LIFEX cycle, this has temporarily reduced crewing pressures and it will be instructive to see if any of the frigates and destroyers have to be returned to ‘low readiness’ due to lack of people. RN recruitment is buoyant and the pandemic has reduced voluntary outflow for a while, but the ‘pinch points’, particularly the lack of experienced engineers and skilled trades cannot be quickly resolved.

    In the period 2023-27 RN frigate numbers will inevitably fall below the ‘on paper strength’ of 13 as the first Type 23s leave service and there is nothing ready to replace them. The first Type 26 HMS Glasgow is likely to to be handed to the RN in 2025, commission in 2026 but conduct lengthy first of class acceptance trials before being declared fully operational in 2027. The first Type 31 should also be operational by 2027, although unlike Type 26s, the following 4 Type 31s will arrive relatively quickly, the last being operational by February 2030.


    HMS Monmouth (F235)

    Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/19/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

    HMS Monmouth (F235) is a modern guided-missile frigate of the Type 23 class of surface combatant serving the British Royal Navy. The warship was ordered in July of 1988 and saw her keel laid down by Yarrow Shipbuilders on June 1st, 1989. The vessel was launched to sea on November 23rd, 1991 and formally commissioned into service on September 24th, 1993. Fighting under the motto of "Fear Nothing But God", she maintains an active presence in the British fleet, homeporting out of HMNB Devonport, Plymouth. She is also known by the name of "The Black Duke".

    True to her design roots, the warship displaces 5,400 tons (short) and has a running length of 436.3 feet, a beam of 52.9 feet, and a draught of 23.10 feet. Power is through a COmbined Diesel-eLectric-And-Gas (CODLAG) arrangement which sees 4 x Paxman Valenta 12CM diesel generators paired with 2 x GEC electric motors (4,000 horsepower) and 2 x Rolls-Royce Spey SM1C engines (31,100 horsepower) fitted. This allows the ship to make headway at speeds over 28 knots, ranging out to 7,500 nautical miles.

    Aboard is a crew of 185 and the ship can be arranged to house some 205 total personnel if needed. It carries the usual missile/torpedo survival systems and Electronic Warfare (EW) suite common to other warships of her type. Armament is 1 x 4.5" Mk.8 turreted gun (over the forecastle), 1 x 32-cell "Sea Wolf" Vertical Launch System (VLS) for Sea Wolf or Sea Ceptor Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs), 16 x "Harpoon" anti-ship missiles in twin quad-launchers, 12.75" torpedo tubes in two twin-launcher units, 2 x 30mm DS30 automatic guns, 2 x 7.62mm Gatling-style miniguns, and 4 x 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs).

    All this makes Monmouth a "multi-mission" vessel capable of undertaking airspace denial, anti-ship/anti-submarine, escort, and general patrolling sorties. The warship has the in-built quality of being able to tackle threats in the air, on the water, or under water with equal lethality.

    In addition to its installed systems, the warship has a combination hangar/helipad function over the stern section of the hull. This allows the supporting of one or two medium-lift/utility-minded helicopters which can be equipped for the Ant-Submarine Warfare (ASW) or anti-ship role as well as Search and Rescue (SAR) and at-sea resupply. Those helicopters equipped for submarine/ship hunting carry powerful missiles and torpedoes of their own and offer a critical "eye-in-the-sky", Over-the-Horizon (OtH) advantage.

    To date (2019), Monmouth has participated in friendly tours of allied ports and assisted in humanitarian causes. She also undertook anti-piracy actions off of the Somali coast in 2011 and underwent a refit the following year Another Persian Gulf cruise was had in 2013 and another refit followed in 2015.

    Despite her Cold War roots, HMS Monmouth remains fairly active in Royal Navy-related fleet actions, keeping viable as a combat platform for the foreseeable future.


    Watch the video: Type 23 Frigate Or Duke Class Frigates Royal Navy Warship (January 2022).