The MOD has awarded contracts worth £80 million to upgrade the backbone of the Royal Navy surface flotilla, the Type 23 Frigates.
A £68M contract, with Rolls-Royce subsidiary MTU, which includes a training and transitional support package, will see each ship supplied with four new diesel generators and associated upgraded power distribution. A second contract, worth £12 million, with Hitzinger UK, will provide voltage converters to deliver greater power to the frigates.
The work is part of a programme of upgrades to weapon systems, infrastructure and navigation equipment which will ensure that these adaptable frigates, built between 1985 and 2002, continue in service and are able to be deployed worldwide for a number of years to come.
The Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, said:
These upgrades will ensure that the Type 23 frigates, the backbone of the Royal Navy’s fleet, can continue to protect UK interests around the world. The work is part of our £163 billion equipment plan, paid for by a defence budget that will rise each year from now until the end of the decade.
Vice Admiral Simon Lister, Defence Equipment and Support’s Chief of Materiel, (Fleet), said:
This welcome upgrade will underpin the continued success of these flexible warships through their extended life, providing the additional electrical power and reliability necessary to support other key system upgrades and ensuring that the Royal Navy remains able to fulfil its worldwide commitments.
The new generator equipment, being manufactured in Germany and Austria, will be installed at Her Majesty’s Naval Base, Devonport, during planned upkeep periods. The contract is set to be completed in 2024.
The current generator sets were first used in the 1970’s and have provided the power generation for this class to deliver its contribution to the Royal Navy; however, improvements in efficiency, power density and availability mean the new diesel generators will be able to produce much more power from roughly the same size engine.
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