The UK Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke-class frigate HMS Sutherland has rejoined operational service after successfully completing upgrades at Babcock’s Devonport Royal Dockyard.
The vessel is now is now undergoing sea trials to prepare for potential operations.
Assistant chief of naval staff rear admiral James Morse was quoted by The Herald as saying: "It’s fabulous to come back. The ship looks immaculate. What’s most impressive is to come and see the people.
"The current ships company of HMS Sutherland have just paraded magnificently and have worked really hard to get the ship ready for today."
The refit programme was undertaken under the Surface Ship Support Alliance, which comprises the UK Ministry of Defence, Babcock and BAE systems, class output management (COM) arrangements.
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, an upgrade to the high-pressure air system pipework and galley equipment, among others.
HMS Sutherland current commanding officer commander Stephen Anderson was quoted as saying: "HMS Sutherland was launched officially just over 18 years ago with a design life of 18 years.
"We find ourselves at the end of our design life and the two-year package we have just gone through will see her regenerate for another 18 years."
The Type 23 frigate was originally designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), but the addition of the vertical-launched Seawolf point missile defence system and the Boeing Harpoon surface-to-surface missile, has expanded its role to include anti-surface warfare (ASuW).
Image: The UK Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate, HMS Sutherland. Photo: courtesy of Vicki Benwell, Royal Navy.