UK’s Duke-Class Frigates to Get Weapon Systems Upgrade

The UK has awarded Systems Engineering & Assessment (SEA) 34 million pounds ($37 million) to upgrade the weapon systems aboard the Royal Navy’s Duke-class frigates over the next five years.

Work involves upgrading the vessels’ Magazine torpedo launch systems and the electronics of the Seagnat threat countermeasure capabilities responsible for protecting the frigates against anti-ship missiles.

The upgrades also cover the Air Handling Systems that enable the efficient transfer of munitions to the ships’ weapon preparation areas.

“These crucial upgrades will help to ensure our Royal Navy ships remain equipped with the latest counter-threat capability,” UK Defence Procurement Minister Alec Shelbrooke said.

“Supporting 150 jobs at sites across the UK, this contract is another example of how we are investing in the future, sustaining UK jobs and securing cutting-edge defence capabilities.”

‘Battle-Winning Capability’

Alongside Type 23 frigates, SEA will also upgrade the Seagnat systems of Type 45 Daring-class destroyers and Royal Fleet Auxillary, that provide fuel replenishment and other supplies to Royal Navy vessels worldwide.

“I’m incredibly proud of our team which has worked so hard to place this contract, ensuring Type 23 has the battle-winning capability it needs to perform their critical role in the Royal Navy fleet now and into the future,” UK Defence and Equipment Ships Support Director Rear Adm. Jim Higham said.

“This major contract, SEA’s largest to date, demonstrates the systems knowledge and maritime domain expertise within our UK-based team and builds on our long-standing partnership with the Royal Navy,” SEA Managing Director Richard Flitton added.

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Other Upgrades for Duke-Class Frigates

Earlier this year, a life extension program for UK’s Duke-class frigates began.

This October, the Royal Navy selected Babcock to deliver maritime communications electronic support measures capability for the fleet.