UK’s HMS St Albans Back in Service After Four-Year Upgrade

The UK Royal Navy’s HMS St Albans has returned to service after four and a half years of upkeep and upgrades.

The Type 23 frigate was taken out of Devonport Naval Base in southwest England to participate in post-refit sea trials to determine whether all the improved and refurbished systems aboard the ship were working as intended.

St Albans’ life extension (LIFEX) upgrades will be tested in the English Channel in “the next few weeks,” according to the Royal Navy.

The frigate began its LIFEX upgrades in 2019 following nearly 20 years of service.

Four-Year Upgrade

Babcock oversaw the vessel’s upgrades, including the replacement of all four diesel engines and the installation of LED lighting.

Its Sea Wolf air defense system was replaced with the newer Sea Ceptor, while its sensors were upgraded with the new Type 997 Artisan air-search radar.

The ship was also redesigned to adapt to the upcoming Sea Venom anti-ship missile system.

HMS St Albans Commanding Officer Commander Helen Coxon described the ship’s return as a significant milestone for the force and its engineering endeavors.

“Whether it is the first day at sea – as is the case for many of our less experienced sailors – or returning back to where we feel at home for the more experienced  – today is a big day and we’d like to thank all those involved in making it happen,” she said.

Thanks to its upgrades, the ship is scheduled to serve well into the middle of the next decade while its successors, the Type 26 frigates, enter service.

Related Articles

Back to top button