Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate HMS Westminster Returns to Sea After Missile & Radar Upgrade

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Naval Forces News - UK
 
 
 
Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate HMS Westminster Returns to Sea After Missile & Radar Upgrade
 
The Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate HMS Westminster went back to sea after completing one of the longest, most comprehensive and complex revamps in the frigate’s 24-year life. More than 800 engineers, technicians and shipwrights from BAE Systems have swarmed over the ship in Portsmouth Naval Base to prepare her for the final decade of her life. The existing 996 radar and Seawolf air defence system have been replaced with the Artisan 3D radar and Sea Ceptor (also known as MBDA's CAMM).
     
HMS Westminster Type 23 Frigate return to sea after upgrade 1Type 23 Frigate HMS Westminster sailing back to sea after major refit. Royal Navy picture.
     
The hull was cleaned and repainted – with anti-fouling paint to prevent marine life attaching itself to the ship – the main 4.5in gun serviced, the engines and machinery overhauled, mess and communal areas given a fresh look and the bridge revamped.

Westminster is one of three Type 23s to emerge from similar major overhauls simultaneously. HMS Montrose and Argyll were revamped in their native Devonport. The latter will go on to be trials vessel for Sea Ceptor.
     
HMS Westminster Type 23 Frigate return to sea after upgrade 2HMS Westminster upkeep program. BAE Systems picture.
     
The new Artisan 3D radar (designed by BAE Systems) can track more than 900 targets simultaneously (in the air and on the surface), whether they’re the size of an enemy ship cruising at 15 knots or a missile no wider than a cricket ball incoming at more than 2,000mph and can see potential threats 125 miles away or as close as 650ft. It’s been designed to ‘see through’ all the invisible ‘clutter’ in our skies created by television, satellite and phone signals and can cope with more than 10,000 mobile phone signals trying to jam it. So far Artisan has been fitted to 11 of 13 Type 23 frigates, flagship HMS Ocean, assault ship HMS Bulwark, future flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth.

According to MBDA, CAMM (Common Anti-air Modular Missile) is the next generation air defence missile designed for land, sea and air environments. Incorporating advanced technologies to provide complete protection against all known and projected air targets. CAMM is currently in full scale production for the UK MOD to deliver the Sea Ceptor ship based air defence system that will equip the Royal Navy Type 23 frigates and future Type 26. The same CAMM missile will form the core of the land based air defence version for the British Royal Artillery. CAMM has an active RF seeker that provides true all-weather performance with excellent clutter rejection capabilities. In addition to the Royal Navy, CAMM in its maritime variant has been selected by the Royal New Zealand Navy (ANZAC frigate upgrade), the Brazilian Navy (to equip new Tamandaré-class corvettes) and recently by the Chilean Navy (to replace Sea Wolf on the current Type 23 frigates).
 

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