UK completes installation of Naval Strike Missile on Type 23 frigate HMS Somerset

According to a tweet published by the UK MoD on January 30, 2023, work begins to upgrade the anti-surface warfare capability of the Type 23 frigate HMS Somerset with the new Naval Strike Missile.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Royal Navy's Type 23 frigate HMS Somerset. (Picture source: UK MoD)

HMS Somerset is a Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy. Commissioned in 1996, the ship is designed for a range of tasks, including maritime security and anti-piracy operations.

The Type 23 frigate has a displacement of 4,900 tons (4,800 long tons; 5,400 short tons). She has a length of 133 m and a beam of 16.1 m, with a draught of 7.3 m.

The ship's propulsion system consists of Four 1510 kW diesel generators, two electric motors delivering 2980 kW, and two Rolls-Royce Spey SM1C delivering 23,190 kW, with a speed in excess of 28 knots and a range of 7,500 nautical miles at 15 knots. The crew complement is 185 with accommodation for up to 205.

The frigate is equipped with a 32-cell Vertical Launching System (VLS) for Sea Ceptor anti-air missiles. She also has up to 2 quad Harpoon launchers for anti-ship missiles and 2 twin Sting Ray torpedo tubes for anti-submarine torpedoes

HMS Somerset also has a BAE 4.5 inch Mk 8 naval gun, 2 30 mm guns, 2 Miniguns, and 4 general-purpose machine guns. She can carry either a Wildcat HMA2 or a Merlin HM2 helicopter, both armed with anti-submarine torpedoes.

The Type 23 frigate has been deployed on anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden, contributing to the effort to combat piracy in the region. The ship has also been involved in maritime security operations in the Persian Gulf, ensuring the safety of shipping lanes and protecting the interests of the UK and its allies.