CONTENT PREVIEW
Sea Platforms

Type 23 frigate completes Sea Ceptor first firings

05 September 2017

Key Points

  • HMS Argyll is the first Royal Navy Duke-class Type 23 frigate to complete a life extension refit
  • Sea Ceptor is being retrofitted to all 13 Type 23 frigates to replace the GWS 26 Mod 1 VL Seawolf point defence system

The first UK Royal Navy (RN) Duke-class Type 23 frigate to complete its life extension (LIFEX) refit has completed initial firings of its newly fitted GWS 35 Sea Ceptor local area air defence system ahead of a deployment to the Asia-Pacific region in 2018.

A CAMM missile seen just after launch from HMS Argyll during Sea Ceptor first-of-class firings. (MBDA)A CAMM missile seen just after launch from HMS Argyll during Sea Ceptor first-of-class firings. (MBDA)

HMS Argyll, the oldest of the 13 Type 23s remaining in RN service, performed first-of-class firings on the Hebrides range off northwest Scotland during a two-week period in July, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 4 September.

Originally designed for an 18-year service life, the Type 23s are all to receive the LIFEX package in order to extend ship life out to over 30 years; on current plans, the last Type 23 will not leave RN service until the mid-2030s. The LIFEX upkeep embodiment brings together major changes to equipment and systems, including embodiment of various combat system upgrades, together with work to extend the life of the hull and superstructure.

Argyll - which is planned to serve through to 2023 – returned to sea earlier this year after completing an 80-week LIFEX upkeep at Babcock’s Devonport dockyard.

GWS 35 Sea Ceptor is being retrofitted to all 13 Type 23 frigates to replace the GWS 26 Mod 1 VL Seawolf (VLSW) point defence missile system, which will reach the end of its life in 2020.

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