HMS Sutherland gets upgrade

A £35m upgrade to HMS Sutherland, which will make her the most powerful ship in the fleet, has been announced by defence minister Baroness Taylor.

New equipment worth £18m will be installed as part of a £17m contract with Babcock Marine to overhaul the ship at their Rosyth dockyard in Scotland.

The type 23 frigate will be equipped with the latest submarine hunting sonar system, an advanced Seawolf air defence missile system, an improved main gun capable of firing long-range ammunition, and a reshaped stern to cut fuel use.

The equipment will be supplied under separate MoD contracts. The £300m Seawolf Missile defence system upgrade is run by BAE Systems Insyte, with equipment for the ship manufactured at their Portsmouth and Chelmsford sites.

The £166m submarine Sonar 2087 project is run by Thales UK and will be manufactured at numerous sites and integrated together at the Thales Cheadle Heath site near Manchester.

The upgrade to the 4.5” main gun is by DML in Devonport and will be installed by Babock Marine in Rosyth.

‘HMS Sutherland is the first of our ships to get this new equipment making her the most powerful frigate in the fleet,’ said Baroness Taylor. ‘She will be a force to be reckoned with, capable of dealing with current and future threats.’