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The Royal Navy's Type 23 frigate, HMS Lancaster, is undergoing a £17.9 million refit at Portsmouth Naval Base.
The mid-life upkeep will significantly upgrade the capability of the 20 year old frigate to ensure she is ready to fulfil future operational commitments. The work includes upgrades to the ship's Seawolf guided missile system, command system, communications and the installation of a small calibre 30mm gun system, which can be remotely operated. This will boost her air defence capability, improve the ship's situational awareness and make it easier to enable future systems upgrades as operational requirements evolve.
A significant amount of work will also be undertaken on the ship's hull as well as its power and propulsion machinery. This includes a new coating of underwater paint, which will deliver greater operational efficiency and reduced fuel consumption, refurbishment of her diesel generators and replacement of shafts and propellers.
Captain Tim Chidley, Superintendent Fleet Maintenance at Portsmouth Naval Base, said:
"HMS Lancaster's refit shows how even well founded relationships can learn and be strengthened. Novel integrated approaches to planning the project, adopting a more structured approach to partnering and challenging ourselves to improve through innovation have given this project added momentum. Getting all parties to look beyond 'the contract' to the ship's return to operations has fostered real focused enthusiasm at all levels around a common aim."
Barry Woolley, Head of the Ship Support Integrated Operations Team at BAE Systems, said:
"The work that we are now undertaking in partnership with the Royal Navy here in Portsmouth will boost the war fighting capability of HMS Lancaster to ensure that she returns to the fleet in 12 months, fighting fit and continues to deliver exceptional capability to the Royal Navy for years to come."
The project team conducted extensive surveys of the ship and her systems prior to the start of work in order to optimise planning and preparations for the refit. The project is expected to complete in March 2012, with HMS Lancaster set to return to the operational fleet later that month.