The British Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke-class frigate HMS Kent has been rededicated after completing its keel-to-mast refit carried out in Plymouth over 18 months.

During the revamp carried out by Babcock International, the vessel underwent major overhaul works to help the ship sustain its active duties into the early 2030s.

With completion of the upgrade works, HMS Kent has now become the Royal Navy’s most advanced submarine hunter.

As part of the upgrade, the frigate has been fitted with a new command system and the Sea Ceptor missile system that will replace the legacy Seawolf system across the fleet.

The Sea Ceptor missile will be capable of protecting both the frigate and its task group from air/missile attacks.

“The Sea Ceptor missile will be capable of protecting both the frigate and its task group from air/missile attacks.”

Babcock has also modernised the vessel’s command and control system, which processes the masses of data collected by sensors installed on the ship for interpretation.

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In addition, general machinery and living quarters have been cleaned, refurbished or overhauled.

Marine engineer chief petty officer Philip Shields said: “Being involved in the refit and subsequent regeneration of HMS Kent has represented one of the most challenging, and rewarding, periods of my career.

“Seeing the journey from tired metal hull to a rejuvenated, repurposed capable fighting unit ready to re-join the fleet has been a privilege.”

Following completion of the refit, more than 180 crew members have been conducting trials in home waters before the vessel arrived in Portsmouth for rededication.