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HMS Kent Type 23 Duke-class frigate joins US forces in Arctic for cold-weather training


The British Royal Navy with HMS Kent Type 23 Duke-class frigate has joined forces with the US to practice operations in the icy waters of the Arctic. HMS Kent joined two American destroyers, a nuclear submarine, support ship and long-range maritime patrol aircraft above the Arctic Circle this week to hone skills in challenging environmental conditions.


HMS Kent Type 23 Duke class frigate joins US force in Arctic for cold weather training 925 001 HMS Kent Type 23 Duke-class frigate of the British navy. (Picture source British Navy)


The Plymouth-based frigate, plus her Merlin helicopter from 814 Naval Air Squadron, is designed to help protect the UK’s nuclear deterrent and keep Britain safe.

For the exercise, HMS Kent has linked up with Arleigh Burke-class destroyers USS Donald Cook and USS Porter, fast combat support ship USNS Supply, an American P8-A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, and a US nuclear-powered submarine.

More than 1,200 military personnel from the two nations are involved – conducting key training in support of the UK’s Defence even while the UK Armed Forces are supporting the fight against COVID-19.

Commander Matt Sykes, the Commanding Officer of HMS Kent, said: “I am delighted for HMS Kent to have this opportunity to work with our US allies. Conducting an exercise in the Arctic Circle is a new challenge for the ship’s company whose dedication and professionalism in preparing for this exercise have been impressive.

“The challenges of working in this extreme environment should not be underestimated but HMS Kent’s presence here continues to demonstrate the UK’s commitment to the north Atlantic and high north. Finally, I would like to thank the friends and families of HMS Kent for their unswerving support throughout this period.”

The HMS Kent is a Type 23 Duke class frigate of the British Royal Navy, it was launched on 28 May 1998 and commissioned on 8 June 2000. She was the first ship to enter Royal Navy service in the 21st Century.

The Type 23 frigate or Duke class is a class of frigates built for the United Kingdom's Royal Navy. The ships are named after British Dukes, thus leading to the class being commonly known as the Duke class. The ships are armed with eight Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles in two four-cell launchers and vertical-launch Seawolf (GWS 26 Mod 1 VLS). Harpoon is a medium-range (90km) anti-ship missile using inertial and active radar guidance. VLS Seawolf is a surface-to-air missile with command to line of sight (CLOS) guidance and radar and electro-optic tracking. It has a range of 6 km.