Type 23 frigate HMS Kent rejoins fleet after 18-month refit

Royal Navy frigate HMS Kent formally rejoined the fleet in a ceremony on October 5, after undergoing an 18-month keel-to-mast revamp.

The Type 23 frigate’s most significant upgrades included a new command system and the Sea Ceptor missile system.

Replacing the veteran Seawolf across the fleet, Sea Ceptor is able not only to protect Kent herself from air/missile attack, but any task group to which she’s attached.

The Babcock team also enhanced the ship’s command and control system – the computer brains which process the masses of data Kent’s sensors gather so that the operations room team can interpret them.

General machinery, messes and living quarters have also been cleaned, refreshed or overhauled.

The refit ended in July, since when the 180-plus crew have been conducting trials in home waters before bringing their frigate into Portsmouth for the service of rededication.

“Being involved in the refit and subsequent regeneration of HMS Kent has represented one of the most challenging – and rewarding – periods of my career,” said marine engineer Chief Petty Officer Philip Shields.

“Seeing the journey from tired metal hull to a rejuvenated, re-purposed capable fighting unit ready to rejoin the fleet has been a privilege.”

At the other end of the spectrum is Engineering Technician Owen Pryce’s for whom Kent is his first ship.

“I have been made to feel really welcome and always felt like part of the team. The ship is not just where I work, it’s also where I live and it’s been great to be able to show HMS Kent off to my family today,” he said.

Photo: Photo: Royal Navy