The UK Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke-class frigate HMS Sutherland has fired its 4.5in main gun for the first time after sucessfully completing an upgrade and substantial maintenance programme.
The firing, which occurred in the South Coast exercise area, saw 88lb of steel and power leaving the barrel of its main gun at more than twice the speed of sound.
HMS Sutherland weapons engineer officer lieutenant commander Jon Boughton said: "I’m extremely proud of my team and what they’ve achieved.
"This was an important milestone in our regeneration for national tasking and signals that the Fighting Clan is ready for the next challenge."
The Royal Navy’s Type 42 destroyers, Type 23 and Type 22 frigates were initially armed with the distinctive Mk 8 Mod 0 gun.
However, the last decade saw the Mod 0 being replaced by the Mk 8 Mod 1, offering better capabilities.
The latest gun is an electrical system with hydraulics for ramming the round into the breach. In addition, the angular shape of the Mod 1 reduces its radar cross-section.
The vessel rejoined operational service after successfully completion of upgrades recently.
Upgrades to the warship included installation of the DNA(2) Command System and the Advanced Radar Target Indication Situational Awareness and Navigation (Artisan) 3D Radar Type 997, chloropac system, modification to underwater inlets and outlets, and an upgrade to the high-pressure air system pipework and galley equipment.
HMS Sutherland will now go ahead with its remaining trials and preparations prior to the operational sea training period.
Image: The UK Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke-class frigate, HMS Sutherland. Photo: courtesy of UK Royal Navy.