Sea vessels

HMS Sutherland To Undergo Major Revamp

The Type 23 frigate is not expected to re-emerge from the upgrade until 2023.

The Royal Navy's HMS Sutherland has returned to her home port ahead of a major revamp.

The Type 23 frigate sailed into Plymouth on Friday after five years of near-constant duties and patrols in the UK and abroad.

Her 200-strong crew have now begun preparing the ship for the refit which will be carried out by contractor Babcock at Devonport Naval Base.

The Navy said HMS Sutherland will not re-emerge from the work until 2023 which is designed to keep her on the frontline until 2032.

Upon her return, she will be the fleet's "most potent submarine hunter" and equipped with Sea Ceptor missiles to fend off air attacks, the Navy added.

HMS Sutherland - also known as The Fighting Clan- is the last of 13 ships in her class to undergo a major refurbishment.

Her engines, combat systems and sensors will all be updated and her living quarters will also undergo a makeover. 

Weapon Engineer Officer, Lieutenant Commander David Tinsley, said: "The upgrades to the ship will see her gain world-class capabilities that will keep her at the forefront of maritime technology for years to come and until she is replaced by the Type 26 frigates.

RAF Typhoon flies over HMS Sutherland during training above the Arctic Circle (Picture: MOD).

"From the engines to the mission system, missiles and sonar, Sutherland will leave upkeep future-proofed and ready to continue delivering on operations as she has done so ably to this point."

Since her last major overhaul, HMS Sutherland has spent 650 days on the move, visiting 17 nations in the process.

She has escorted aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth during her maiden sea trials and also deployed to the Asia-Pacific region.

The ship has also helped test new weapons, including the "world's most advanced torpedo" during trials in Scotland.

Whilst last month, she led a multi-national task group through the Arctic region - the first time the Royal Navy has done so in more than 20 years.

The ship's sailors have spent much of this year together as part of a coronavirus bubble. 

Cover image: HMS Sutherland passes Drake’s Island as she returns to Plymouth from her last day at sea until 2023 (Picture: Royal Navy).