Friday, November 21, 2008

HMS Sutherland sets sail with advanced air defences

HMS Sutherland sets sail with advanced air defences

An Equipment and Logistics news article
20 Nov 08
HMS Sutherland has set sail from Scotland equipped with the most advanced air defence system in the Royal Navy following a multi-million pound MOD refit.

The Type 23 frigate is the first in the fleet to be fitted with the updated Sea Wolf missile defence system under the year long £35 million refit at Rosyth dockyard.

It is just one of a series of upgrades that have enhanced HMS Sutherland's performance on, above and below the water, putting her at the forefront of the fleet of frigates.

Defence Equipment & Support's Surface Combatants Director, Commodore Graham Peach, said:

"The updated Sea Wolf missile system is a real boost to Sutherland's air defence capability; its advanced new sensors can track an object the size of a cricket ball travelling up to twice the speed of sound from a range of more than 20 miles [32 kilometres] and launch a salvo of missiles to take out the target. The system will be installed across the frigates over the coming decade, significantly enhancing the Navy's anti-aircraft ability."

Improved submarine-hunting ability comes courtesy of the latest sonar equipment, Sonar 2087, while a new main gun capable of firing long-range ammunition has boosted her defence ability on the surface. Finally, a new paint system has been used in recoating the hull outer bottom that improves performance as well as fuel economy.

HMS Sutherland left Rosyth on Friday 14 November 2008 to embark on two months of sea trials, testing her new systems before she returns to her duties.

Sea Wolf Mid Life Update replaces the current 20-year-old Sea Wolf missile defence system installed on the Type 22s and 23s at build. The system will be rolled out across the classes by 2017 under a £300 million supply contract with BAE Systems.

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