Surface Forces: Frigate Retirement Delayed

October 29, 2011: Britain is upgrading its thirteen Type 23 frigates, in order to improve their performance, and enable them to serve five years beyond their planned retirement date. The year long, $30 million (per ship) refurbishment includes replacement of two diesel generators and one of the gas turbines. A new 114mm (4.5 inch) gun is being installed, along with a towed sonar array, new paint that will keep barnacles and such off the hull. Improvements to living quarters for the 185 crew are in addition to an upgraded ventilation system. There are also upgrades to the electronics and the anti-aircraft missile system.

Each 4,900-ton Type 23 is equipped with eight Harpoon anti-ship missiles, a 114mm (4.5-inch) MK 8 main gun, 30mm close range guns, several types of 7.62mm machine-guns, four torpedo tubes (and 24 anti-submarine torpedoes) and the Sea Wolf anti-aircraft missile system. They can also carry a medium-sized helicopter. Three of the 16 Type 23s built were later sold to Chile.

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