Type 23 (Duke) Class Frigates

Type 23 (Duke) class frigates are the only frigate class currently owned by the Royal Navy. 16 Type 23 class frigates were produced from 1990 to 2002 and were put into service in the Royal Navy. Between 2005 and 2006, 3 Type 23 class frigates were sold to the Chilean Navy.

(F-812) HMS Somerset

The primary mission of the ships is anti-submarine warfare, and almost all the ship’s weapon systems (guns, anti-ship missiles, air defense missiles) are located in the bow. Only some relatively small guns are in the hull. Having all weapons in the bow means that if the ship is hit in the bow in a possible wartime scenario, the ship may become inoperable.

(F-81) HMS Sutherland

The first ship of the class, HMS Norfolk (F-230), was commissioned on June 1, 1990, at a cost of £135 million, while the unit cost of the remaining ships in the class has dropped to £60-95 million.

The Type 23 class frigates will be replaced by the Type 26, Type 31, and Type 32 class frigates soon. To keep the Type 23 class effective and modern until the Type 26 class frigates, which are planned to enter service in the late 2020s, the Royal Navy initiated a mid-life modernization program in 2012.

(F-231) HMS Arglly

The modernization, which lasts between 12 and 18 months per ship, cost between £15-20 million. The mid-life modernization of 11 of the 12 ships currently in active service has been completed. The last ship, HMS St Albans (F-83), will also be modernized soon. The sonar, air defense missiles, and radar were upgraded in the mid-life modernization.

General Specifications of the Type 23 (Duke) Class:
BuildersYarrow Shipbuilders and Swan Hunter
Length 133 m
Width16.1 m
Draft7.3 m
Speed28 knots (52 km/h)
Displacement4,900 tons
Range7,500 nautical miles (14,000 km)
Technical SystemsKelvin Hughes Type 1007 and Racal Decca Type 1008 navigation radar. Sperry Sea Archer 30 combat control system, BAE Systems combat management system
Propulsion SystemCODLAG, 4 Paxman Valenta 12CM diesel generators, 2 26,150 horsepower Rolls-Royce SM1C gas turbine engines
Helicopter1x AW139 Wildcat or 1x AW101 Merlin helicopter
Additional Vehicles2x RHIB
(F-238) HMS Northumberland
Weapon Systems on the Type 23 (Duke) Class:
Main Gun1x BAE Systems 114mm 4.5-inch Mark 8 gun
Other Guns2x 20mm M134 Miniguns
2x 30mm DS-30 guns
Anti-Ship Missiles8x RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles (In 2023-2024, Harpoon anti-ship missiles will be replaced by Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile anti-ship missiles on 11 ships)
Air Defence Systems32x GWS-35 vertical launch systems (GWS 26 VLS was removed during mid-life modernization)
32x Sea Captor air defense missiles with a range of 25 km (Sea Wolf air defense missiles with a range of 10 km were removed during mid-life modernization)
Torpedoes2 twin-tube Sting Ray lightweight torpedoes
(F-237) HMS Westminster
Type 23 (Duke) Class Ships:
Royal Navy:
1 (F-229) HMS Lancaster (entered service on May 01, 1992 – currently active)
2(F-230) HMS Norfolk (entered service on June 01, 1990 – sold to Chile in 2005 – entered service in the Chilean Navy as FF-05 Amiral Cochrane on November 22, 2006)
3(F-231) HMS Arglly (entered service on May 31, 1991 – currently active)
4(F-233) HMS Marlborough (entered service on June 14, 1991 – sold to Chile in 2005 – entered service in the Chilean Navy as FF-06 Almirante Condell on May 28, 2008)
5(F-234) HMS Iron Duke (entered service on May 20, 1993 – currently active)
6(F-235) HMS Monmouth (entered service on September 24, 1993 – retired on June 30, 2021)
7(F-236) HMS Montrose (entered service on June 02, 1994 – currently active)
8(F-237) HMS Westminster (entered service on May 13, 1994 – currently active)
9(F-238) HMS Northumberland (entered service on November 29, 1994 – currently active)
10(F-239) HMS Richmond (entered service on June 22, 1995 – currently active)
11(F-78) HMS Kent (entered service on June 08, 2000 – currently active)
12(F-79) HMS Portland (entered service on May 03, 2001 – currently active)
13(F-80) HMS Grafton (entered service on May 29, 1997 – sold to Chile in 2006 – entered service in the Chilean Navy as FF-07 Amiral Lynch on March 27, 2007)
14(F-81) HMS Sutherland (entered service on July 04, 1997 – currently active)
15(F-82) HMS Somerset (entered service on September 20, 1996 – currently active)
16(F-83) HMS St Albans (entered service on June 08, 2000 – currently active)
Chilean Navy:
1(FF-05) Amiral Cochrane (entered service on November 22, 2006 – currently active)
2(FF-06) Almirante Condell (entered service onMay 28, 2008 – currently active)
3(FF-07) Amiral Lynch (entered service on March 27, 2007 – currently active)
(F-238) HMS Northumberland

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