The UK’S defence ministry has committed to enhancing weapons systems across its Type 23 frigate fleet.
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The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a £34 million (AU$60 million) contract to Systems Engineering & Assessment (SEA) for a series of technical upgrades to the Magazine Torpedo Launch Systems and threat countermeasure capabilities aboard the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates.
This is expected to include electronic upgrades to Seagnat, designed to safeguard the vessel against incoming missiles by firing a variety of decoys to defeat incoming missiles.
Other work includes further technical upgrade to the Magazine Torpedo Launch Systems — a close range, quick reaction anti-submarine weapon system which launches torpedoes from tubes mounted in the vessel’s magazine.
The upgrades, expected to be undertaken over the next five years, aim to ensure the weapons systems can operate reliably throughout the frigate fleet’s service-life.
The ships are deployed across a variety of mission types, including securing the UK’s vital maritime trade routes east of the Suez Canal and safeguarding British interests in the South Atlantic.
The work is tipped to sustain 150 jobs across Barnstaple, Beckington and Bristol in the south-west of England.
“These crucial upgrades will help to ensure our Royal Navy ships remain equipped with the latest counter-threat capability,” Minister for Defence Procurement Alec Shelbrooke said.
“Supporting 150 jobs at sites across the UK, this contract is another example of how we are investing in the future, sustaining UK jobs and securing cutting-edge defence capabilities.”
“I’m incredibly proud of our team which has worked so hard to place this contract, ensuring Type 23 has the battle-winning capability it needs to perform their critical role in the Royal Navy fleet now and into the future,” DE&S’ director, ships support, Rear Admiral Jim Higham said.
The contract also involves Seagnat system upgrades to Type 45 destroyers and Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) tankers.
“This major contract, SEA’s largest to date, demonstrates the systems knowledge and maritime domain expertise within our UK-based team and builds on our longstanding partnership with the Royal Navy,” Richard Flitton, managing director at Systems Engineering & Assessment, commented.
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