The UK Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke-class frigate HMS St Albans has completed a £25m refurbishment and is currently undergoing sea trials off the south coast.
As part of the revamp programme, BAE Systems was responsible for upgrading the frigate’s weapon systems, command and control computer systems and information systems, as well as overhauling its main propulsion systems.
During the initial week of intensive ten week-trials, the frigate’s machinery underwent test events, including basic manoeuvring, operation of the engines at full speed, backwards or astern, in addition to the testing the stabilisers.
The initial trials were aimed at offsetting the impact of the sea on the ship’s movement, while facilitating safer launching and landing of helicopters.
The process also involved initiating a forced roll to assure all equipment is fastened down for rough weather.
A 4.5in Mod 1 gun called Kryten was added, in addition to the deployment of Seawolf, the latest version of the ship’s shield against air attack. A new DNA(2) command system has been installed to replace the old one.
Commissioned in 2002, the 133m-long, 4,900t Portsmouth-based frigate can accommodate a crew of 180, has an operational range of 7,800nm and a top cruising speed of 28k.
Upon the completion of sea trials, HMS St Albans is expected to rejoin the fleet later this year.
Image: HMS St Albans during sea trials off the south coast. Photo: courtesy of the Royal Navy.