The refit programme of the UK Royal Navy’s Duke Class Type 23 Frigate HMS Westminster has been completed.

At the BAE Systems' facility, more than 800 engineers, technicians and shipwrights were engaged to upgrade the 24-year-old ship with new weapons and marine systems to enhance its warfighting capabilities.

HMS Westminster commanding officer Simon Kelly said: “HMS Westminster is emerging from an extended refit period as one of the most capable surface ships in the Royal Navy.

"The partnership with BAE Systems throughout this period has been excellent, for which I thank all of the team."

“She has benefited from a number of significant upgrades many of which the Royal Navy will invest in the future Type 26 Frigate.

“The partnership with BAE Systems throughout this period has been excellent, for which I thank all of the team.”

The frigate has been installed with the new Sea Ceptor missile system, replacing the previous Seawolf system, along with the large trackers that were used to guide the old system, which were replaced with powerful smaller sensors.

The silo of the vessel has also been adapted to accommodate the heavier new supersonic missiles.

Upgrades to the weapon system also included the installation of a refurbished Kryten 4.5in MK8 naval gun, which has the ability to combat surface, aircraft and shore threats by firing up to two dozen high explosive shells per minute.

The frigate was incorporated with the new Artisan 3D radar, capable of monitoring more than 800 objects at the same time from a distance of 200 to 200,000m away.

The hull of the frigate was painted with anti-fouling paint, which will prevent algae and other marine organisms sticking to the ship.

Other parts of the ship such as the bridge, galley, mess decks and communal areas also received a new look.

HMS Westminster is now slated to undergo a series of harbour-based and sea trials before returning to service, which is expected to happen next year.

Image: HMS Westminster undergoes repair work. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.