HMS Monmouth

The UK Royal Navy‘s Type 23 Duke-class vessel, HMS Monmouth, has completed its refit programme following a successful fleet date inspection in Naval Base Devonport.

As part of its 20-month refit, the frigate, informally known as The Black Duke, recently performed extensive sea trials to test its upgraded weapon systems and sensors, including new Type 997 medium range radar, 4.5in gun and Seawolf missile system.

HMS Monmouth commanding officer commander Philip Tilden said: "To get this far, on time and ready for future tasking has taken a significant effort from not only the skilled and motivated people that I am honoured to work alongside, but also from our partners in this enterprise, most notably Babcock Marine.

"’The Black Duke’ is now materially world class and after a period of training and consolidation is looking forward to doing our bit towards protecting the nation’s interests well into the next decade."

Started in February last year, the refit programme included delivering upgrades and improvements to significantly enhance the vessel’s sustainability and fighting capability.

"To get this far, on time and ready for future tasking has taken a significant effort."

Upgrade work included vertical launch Seawolf midlife update, galley updates, installation of a chloropac system that reduces marine growth in the pipe system and modifications to high-pressure air systems to allow safer isolation of distinct parts, among others.

In addition, maintenance work included rudder inspections, replacement or overhaul of all hull valves, shaft replacement, revalidation of the hull and structures, renewal of high and low pressure air compressors and overhaul of both special service air compressors, and a large represervation programme.

The warship received significant amount of structural work to its superstructure, which has included approximately 17t of new steel covering an area of 220m² and more than 1.1km.

The frigate will now undergo training and endorsement before its deployment.

Image: HMS Monmouth received several upgrades after its 20-month long refit programme. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.