HMS Portland leaves Devonport after major revamp

HMS Portland Returns To Sea After 'Life Extension' Overhaul

The transformation of the flotilla, which began in 2014, involves a total bow-to-stern revamp.

HMS Portland leaves Devonport after major revamp

Royal Navy warship HMS Portland has sailed from Devonport to begin sea trials after undergoing a four-year revamp.

The Type 23 frigate is the latest to complete the 'life extension' programme for the class, which is now drawing to a close.

The revamp of the flotilla, which began in 2014, involves a total bow-to-stern, mast-to-keel, overhaul to ensure the 23s can serve into the middle of the next decade, keeping pace with the latest threats and technology. 

After completing her last deployment in 2017, to the North and South Atlantic, HMS Portland was handed over to engineering company Babcock in 2018 to start her refit.

The overhaul involved the replacement of two electric propulsion motors, the Sea Wolf missile system replaced with Sea Ceptor, the 997 surveillance and 1084 navigational radars added, and the new to Royal Navy 2150 hull-mounted sonar to sharpen her anti-submarine warfare capability.

HMS Portland leaves Devonport after 4-year revamp
The frigate sailed from Devonport this afternoon for sea trials (Picture: MOD).

For good measure, machinery, computer and IT systems on board were also overhauled, as were mess decks which were designed in the 1980s.

Commander Tim Leeder, HMS Portland's Commanding Officer, said: "I cannot express, with justice, the pride I feel sailing in command of such an incredible team and in such a fine vessel.

"There is no greater privilege than working with sailors as they develop and grow into their roles.

"Taking HMS Portland back to sea today after her refit gives me a front-row seat from which to follow their development as they generate Portland from engineering project into a frontline operational asset. 

"There have been many challenges, continuing to deliver to tight timelines despite the global pandemic is a credit to the tight working relationship with Babcock and to the resilience and hard work from the sailors," he added.

HMS Somerset will be the next frigate to complete her life extension, while HMS Iron Duke and St Albans are mid-overhaul.

HMS Sutherland will be the last Type 23 to undergo the work, entering the refit complex next week. 

Cover Image: MOD.