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Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll starts post-life extension upkeep

HMS Argyll is pictured in number 5 dry dock at Babcock's Frigate Support Centre in Devonport, where the ship is undergoing a post-LIFEX upkeep. (Babcock)

The UK Royal Navy's (RN's) Type 23 Duke-class frigate HMS Argyll has started its post-life extension (LIFEX) overhaul at Babcock's Frigate Support Centre (FSC) in Devonport, the shipbuilder announced on 17 August.

Argyll , which was commissioned in 1991, is the longest-serving Type 23 frigate in the fleet. It was the first in the class to complete an extensive refit and capability upgrade within the LIFEX programme in 2017.

Babcock said that during its post-LIFEX upkeep Argyll will receive an equipment overhaul as well as some modifications to enable new capabilities, including communications upgrades and accommodation for mixed crewing. The ship will also be repainted on the outer bottom and ship side.

Meanwhile, Babcock continues to deliver the Type 23 LIFEX programme across the rest of the fleet.

HMS Somerset is the latest Type 23 to go through a LIFEX refit; Babcock said the ship returned to sea in March and is conducting its post-refit trials. HMS Iron Duke has recently been undocked and HMS St Albans is preparing to flood up later this month, Babcock said. HMS Sutherland is also undergoing its LIFEX overhaul at the FSC. Sutherland entered dry dock in December 2020 and is the last of the Type 23s to begin its LIFEX refit.

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