The UK Royal Navy’s (RN) Duke-class Type 23 frigate HMS Kent has successfully demonstrated its naval combat capabilities and weapon systems.
The frigate returned to the sea this month after undergoing some maintenance and upgrades over recent weeks.
The latest evaluations were aimed to prepare HMS Kent for its future deployments, including the Joint Warrior military exercise in Scotland next month.
As part of the test, the ship test-fired most of its weapon systems, as well as launched its lightweight Sting Ray torpedo.
Sting Ray is primarily launched from a Merlin Mk2 helicopter directly into the sea for keeping the underwater threats away from the frigate’s striking distance range.
Apart from Merlin, the torpedo can also be launched from a ship’s horizontal launchers, which use high pressure to push the torpedo out of the tube.
Under this test, the RN used a training variant concrete instead of a 100lb explosive charge to hit the target. The concrete was recovered after completing the test.
The Duke-class frigate also test-fired its 4.5in naval gun system to gauge the muzzle velocity of the shells after they left the barrel.
In addition, the ship tested its Sonar 2087 towed array and fired a machine gun on the ship, as well as on the Pacific 24 rigid inflatable boat.
The RN’s Culdrose-based 814 Naval Air Squadron was also integrated with Merlin’s crew to carry out other crucial training such as emergency landing, winching and a simulated crash on Kent’s deck.
HMS Kent weapons engineer officer lieutenant commander Will Jones said: “Following on from intense engineering periods, it is essential to fully test weapons and sensors, particularly ahead of deployment.
“It’s also important that ships’ embarked flights have the chance to properly integrate with the ship’s company.”
In July this year, HMS Kent completed a short complex overhaul to prepare it for future deployments.