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16 Jul 15. Upgraded HMS Sutherland rejoins operational service with UK Royal Navy. The UK Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke-class frigate HMS Sutherland has rejoined operational service after successfully completing upgrades at Babcock’s Devonport Royal Dockyard. The vessel is now is now undergoing sea trials to prepare for potential operations.
Assistant chief of naval staff rear admiral James Morse was quoted by The Herald as saying: “It’s fabulous to come back. The ship looks immaculate. What’s most impressive is to come and see the people.
“The current ships company of HMS Sutherland have just paraded magnificently and have worked really hard to get the ship ready for today.”
The refit programme was undertaken under the Surface Ship Support Alliance, which comprises the UK Ministry of Defence, Babcock and BAE systems, class output management (COM) arrangements.
Upgrades to the warship included installation of the DNA(2) Command System and the Advanced Radar Target Indication Situational Awareness and Navigation (Artisan) 3D Radar Type 997, chloropac system, modification to underwater inlets and outlets, an upgrade to the high-pressure air system pipework and galley equipment, among others.
HMS Sutherland current commanding officer commander Stephen Anderson was quoted as saying: “HMS Sutherland was launched officially just over 18 years ago with a design life of 18 years.
“We find ourselves at the end of our design life and the two-year package we have just gone through will see her regenerate for another 18 years.”
The Type 23 frigate was originally designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), but the addition of the vertical-launched Seawolf point missile defence system and the Boeing Harpoon surface-to-surface missile, has expanded its role to include anti-surface warfare (ASuW). (Source: naval-technology.com)
13 Jul 15. Bangladesh’s new C13B corvettes start sea trials ahead of more orders. Key Points:
* Bangladesh’s pair of new-build C13B corvettes has commenced trials in China ahead of a planned December 2015 entry into service
* Two more corvettes are to be ordered
Recent Chinese internet images suggest that the pair of C13B corvettes being built for the Bangladesh Navy (BN) at Wuchang Shipyard had commenced initial sea trials by early July.
Images show both corvettes – BNS Shadhinota (F111) and BNS Prottoy (F112) – underway, alongside tugs. Neither ship appears to have the mast-mounted SR 60 series search radar, while their pair of small-calibre cannon and some sensors were covered by protective sheets. It is possible that both ships are being moved to another shipyard for final outfitting.
According to the BN, the corvettes are slated to enter service in December 2015.
The 90m long, 1,330-ton C13B corvettes are a bespoke variant of China’s Type 056 corvette. While the combat systems are broadly similar to the Type 056, the BN ships lack a sonar system and anti-submarine weapons. They are capable of operating a medium helicopter.
IHS Jane’s understands that the BN is also in the process of acquiring two more C13B corvettes from China, although a formal contract signing date has yet to be announced. According to a senior naval official, these two corvettes would also be built in China.
Besides new-build platforms, the BN is also acquiring Excess Defense Articles (EDAs) from the United States Coast Guard (USCG).
The BN’s second Hamilton and Hero-class cutter, BNS Somudra Avijan (ex- Rush), is expected to depart the United States in September or October upon completion of crew training and a pre-delivery refit. A third Hamilton cutter is expected to be offered to the BN in d