UK to boost Type 23 frigate weapon systems with latest deal

Weapon systems on board the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates will be upgraded in a £34 million contract awarded by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The contract was awarded to defence company Systems Engineering & Assessment (SEA) in Devon. During the next five years, Royal Navy ships will undergo a series of technical upgrades to their magazine torpedo launch systems and threat countermeasure capabilities, the latter of which are expected to ensure the vessels continue to counter the threat of hostile anti-ship missiles.

Type 23 frigate
Photo: Royal Navy

Type 23 frigates will have electronic upgrades to Seagnat, a system that safeguards the vessel against incoming missiles by firing a variety of decoys to defeat incoming missiles.

Some ships will also undergo a further technical upgrade to their Magazine Torpedo Launch Systems – a close-range, quick reaction Anti-Submarine weapon system which launches torpedoes from tubes mounted in the vessel’s magazine.

The contract was placed by the Maritime Equipment and Warfare (MEWT) team at Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the procurement arm of the UK MoD.

In addition to Type 23 updates, the contract will also upgrade Seagnat systems during the next five years on Type 45 destroyers and Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) tankers, which provide fuel, food, fresh water, ammunition and other supplies.

The contract also secures five further years of support for the systems on board the vessels with improved provision for spares.

The equipment supported under this contract (magazine torpedo launch systems, Seagnat and air weapons handling) is used on various ships in the Royal Navy such as Type 23 frigates, Type 45 destroyers, Queen Elizabeth-class (QEC), Royal Fleet auxiliary vessels and Albion-class landing platform docks.

The Type-23 frigate carries out a wide variety of operations, including securing the UK’s maritime trade routes East of the Suez Canal and safeguarding British interests in the South Atlantic.

SEA has already worked on upgrading and maintaining combat systems for warships and submarines. Earlier this year, SEA won a contract extension to support Royal Navy’s in-service submarines.

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Photo: Royal Navy