Babcock starts post-LIFEX upkeep of UK’s longest serving Type 23 frigate
UK defence company Babcock International has started a post-life extension (LIFEX) on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Argyll at their Devonport facility.
Work began immediately with the vessel being prepared for a Lloyds structural survey to achieve an early full ship assessment in just nine weeks.
HMS Argyll is the first Type 23 frigate to undergo a post-LIFEX upkeep, adopting a new approach to re-certification at the facility’s Frigate Support Centre (FSC).
As informed, the company will repair equipment and carry out design changes for new capabilities such as communications upgrades and mixed crewing. The Duke-class frigate will also receive a full spray coat of paint the outer bottom and ship side.
Commissioned in 1991, HMS Argyll is the longest-serving Type 23 frigate and was the first to undergo upkeep within the LIFEX program in 2015. Since the ship returned to the Royal Navy in 2017, Babcock has continued to deliver the Type 23 life-extension program across the fleet.
Babcock’s recent milestones on the program include HMS Somerset achieving ready for sea date and commencing sea trials earlier this year, HMS Iron Duke recently undocking and HMS St Albans preparing to flood up later this month.
HMS Somerset completed “a massive upgrade” in March this year, following four years of maintenance and repair.
HMS Somerset has undergone maintenance, received updates and structural improvements to its hull and living spaces, and enhanced sensors and weapon systems led by the latest Sea Ceptor air defence missile system, replacing the obsolete Sea Wolf.