UK Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland is to undergo a nine-month refit provided by Babcock at its Devonport Royal Dockyard facility to increase the frigate’s sustainability and fighting capability.

The upgrade contract was awarded under the Surface Ship Support Alliance – the alliance between the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), Babcock and BAE Systems.

HMS Northumberland will receive 13 upgrades that include the new DNA (2) command system, installation of the defence information infrastructure (future) (DII(F)), the SeaWolf mid-life update (SWMLU) consisting of tracking, guidance and weapon management upgrades.

The upgrades also include installation of a new automatic small calibre gun (ASCG) and the replacement of nuclear, chemical and biological incident surveillance system (NBCDISS) with a new sophisticated, digital system.

The upgrades will be undertaken alongside a full programme of deep maintenance, including replacement of the Sonar 2050 dome and array, port and starboard shafts, and the port main propulsion gear wheel.

The frigate will rejoin the fleet on completion of sea trials in December 2011.