October 4, 2016 - Almost ready for sea after 18 months out of action is HMS Westminster – the most powerful and advanced frigate in the Royal Navy inventory after a massive overhaul was completed.
More than 800 engineers, technicians and shipwrights from BAE Systems have swarmed over the 24-year-old warship in Portsmouth to prepare her for the final decade of her life.
She’s the first ship to receive the Navy’s new shield against air attack – the Sea Ceptor missile system, which is also being installed on sister ships Argyll and Montrose during their revamps in Devonport.
Ceptor (short for interceptor) replaces the veteran Seawolf which has protected the frigate flotilla more than 35 years.
The large trackers which guided the old system have been removed and replaced with its successors smaller, more powerful sensors.
And the silo has been adapted to accommodate the new supersonic missiles, heavier, over one meter longer and with a range of more than 25km (15 miles), more than twice that of Seawolf.In addition, engineers have installed the Artisan radar which is rapidly becoming prevalent on the Type 23s – it can track more than 800 objects simultaneously as close as 200 meters and as far away as 200,000 (200km, 125 miles, or from Portsmouth to Calais as the crow flies).