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

Naval Forces News - UK
Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate HMS Montrose Returns to Sea After Missile & Radar Upgrade
The Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate HMS Montrose went back to sea on 7th July for the first time in almost three years. HMS Montrose began her refit in 2014.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).
Royal Navy Type 23 Frigate HMS MontroseType 23 Frigate HMS Westminster sailing back to sea after major refit. Royal Navy picture.
This, and other upgrades will allow her to operate in any of the world’s hot spots well into the future. Sea Ceptor and the new “Shared Infrastructure “ Command System, the brains of the ship, provides the capability to protect Montrose and other units around her from a wide range of threats. When she sailed, it was the first time at sea for a number of young sailors onboard.

Other work carried out included stripping the ship back to bare metal and inserting over 1000 patches of new steel to replace worn out areas after her 25 years of service, since her launch in 1992.

Babcock Marine has used over 750,000 man hours of labour working on the hull as well as power generation, a new galley, improvements to living quarters and with over 10Km of electrical wiring and 5Km of piping replaced.

The ship leaves Plymouth to commence a period of trials and training in which the ship’s equipment and personnel will be tested, proving all the work carried out during the refit.

It will be followed by a period of Operational Sea Training, which will ensure that the ship and people are fully trained and ready to deploy in support of operations anywhere in the world.
HMS Westminster Type 23 Frigate return to sea after upgrade 2HMS Westminster upkeep program. The same upgrade work was conducted aboard HMS Montrose. BAE Systems picture.
Montrose is one of three Type 23s to emerge from similar major overhauls simultaneously. HMS Westminster and Argyll were revamped as well. The latter will go on to be trials vessel for Sea Ceptor.

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).