UK: Sailors Return to HMS Iron Duke

Sailors Return to HMS Iron Duke

Sailors from Portsmouth-based HMS Iron Duke have marched back on board following the ship’s 11-month refit. The 170 crew have rejoined the Type 23 frigate following her upgrade carried out by BAE Systems in Portsmouth Naval Base.

Iron Duke will soon return to sea for an intensive few months of sea trials before returning to the Navy’s fleet – and operational duties – later this year.

Her Commanding Officer, Commander Tom Tredray, said:

 “Marching back on board marks a major milestone in the refit and the start an intense period of checking the ship’s systems and safety equipment before we take her back to sea.”

The refit included major work on her weapons systems and combat computer. She has also been fitted with a new Artisan radar to prepare her for operations around the globe.

Improvements in the living conditions such as better ventilation mean she is able to operate more efficiently in hot climates as well as comply with increasingly stringent maritime pollution controls.

During the work the sailors have been working ashore in floating office accommodation in the naval base.

Able Seaman Lee Taylor, a seaman specialist, said:

“I am really excited about moving on board. This is my first ship and we’ve been working in an office for a while but I’m now really going to live like a sailor.”

Naval Today Staff, March 7, 2013; Image: Royal Navy