HMS Sutherland

The UK Royal Navy has re-christened its Type 23 Duke-class frigate HMS Sutherland, marking the completion of an 18-month overhaul programme.

After rejoining operational service in July, the warship conducted sea trials as part of the maintenance programme.

HMS Sutherland commander Stephen Anderson said: "It is an honour and privilege that I am able to mark our re-dedication, at the end of a long and challenging refit package that will extend the ship’s life for another 18 years."

"It is an honour and privilege that I am able to mark our re-dedication."

The Devonport-based warship completed an extensive mid-life overhaul that included installation of the latest weapons and sensors, DNA (2) command system and the advanced radar target indication situational awareness and navigation (Artisan) 3D radar type 997.

Benefits of the modernisation programme include a chloropac system, modification to underwater inlets and outlets, an upgrade to the high-pressure air system pipework and galley equipment.

In July, HMS Sutherland fired its 4.5in main gun for the first time during its sea trial after the maintenance programme.

The latest gun is an electrical system with hydraulics for ramming the round into the breach.

A refit programme was undertaken under the Surface Ship Support Alliance, which comprises the UK Ministry of Defence, Babcock and Bae systems, and class output management (COM) arrangements.

The Type 23 frigate was originally designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW). The addition of the vertical-launched Seawolf point missile defence system and the Boeing Harpoon surface-to-surface missile expanded its role to include anti-surface warfare (ASuW).

Image: Commander Stephen Anderson re-christened HMS Sutherland by smashing a bottle of whiskey against the side of the frigate. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.