The UK Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke-class ship HMS Iron Duke (F234) has successfully completed a 16-month modernisation programme and is to undergo sea trials.
During the refit programme, the vessel has been fitted with BAE Systems’ advanced radar, target indication, situational awareness and navigation (Artisan) medium-range 3D surveillance radar, while replacing the old version.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has initiated a £100m programme to integrate the Artisan radar system onto the navy’s 13 Type 23s, as well as the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, a Type 23 replacement, which is scheduled to be operational next decade.
The radar will also be installed on the new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers to provide air traffic management capabilities.
Once deployed, the surveillance radar featuring anti-jamming capability will enable the ship to simultaneously detect more than 800 objects, travelling at a range of between 200m and 200km.
The Artisan system also offers accurate surveillance and tracking capabilities by detecting targets as small as a tennis ball and moving at three times the speed of sound, at a distance of more than 25km away even under adverse electronic signal interference.
Upgrades to HMS Iron Duke include work on weapons systems and combat computer systems, as well as improvements to ventilation enable efficient operations even in hot climates.
Capable of accommodating a crew of 185, the 133m-long Duke-class vessels are armed with vertical-launched Seawolf point missile defence system and the Boeing Harpoon surface-to-surface missile to provide anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare capabilities.
The 4,900t ships are powered by a diesel-electric and gas (CODLAG) system, which includes two Rolls-Royce Spey SM1A 34,000hp gas turbines and two Alstom 1.5MW 4,400hp electric motors.
Image: A British Royal Navy AW159 Wildcat Lynx landing aboard HMS Iron Duke. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.