HMS Richmond

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a contract to Babcock for delivery of an off-the-shelf communications electronic support measures (CESM) system for installation on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke-class ships.

Working in collaboration with principal subcontractor Argon, the company will supply a high technology readiness level (TRL) system for rapid replacement of the ships’ existing obsolete Lighthouse CESM system.

The system, delivered under the seven-year contract, will provide the vessels with an enhanced electronic surveillance capability.

Babcock Integrated System and Support Group director, Charles John, said the high-technology readiness, low-risk solution will provide MoD the maximum value for money.

”We will also be delivering through-life supportability and upgradeability through the planned project life to 2021 and beyond,” John said.

”This programme will enable the MoD to drive coherency across the capability and derive significant benefit.”

"The high-technology readiness, low-risk solution will provide MoD the maximum value for money."

Also called as Hammerhead, Babcock’s Type 23 CESM system is designed to offer a low risk, mature solution tailored to Type 23 requirements and surveillance capability, which supports both tactical indicators and warnings, as well as other tasked requirements.

The system exhibits commonality with Lighthouse CESMs, which provide the opportunity for common spares, training and operator flexibility, enabling the MoD to address current requirements within the specified budget.

In addition, the system’s modular design block approach provides potential for enhancement or life extension in future, if funding is available, to help the ministry also address changes in operational requirements.

Manufactured by Yarrow Shipbuilders and Swan Hunter, the Type 23 frigates were originally designed for anti-submarine warfare, but have proven their versatility in warfighting, peace-keeping and maritime security missions worldwide.

Image: The UK Royal Navy’s type 23 frigate HMS Richmond during an exercise. Photo: courtesy of Gaz Weatherston.

Defence Technology