All Aboard HMS Lancaster!
Following a 24-month overhaul, HMS Lancaster is now fully staffed once again with all 129 crew members back on board. The 4,500-ton Type 23 frigate has undergone an extensive upgrade and refit over the past two years including the installation of the new Artisan 3D radar, improved navigational radar and a new generation Sea Ceptor missile system to protect the vessel against attack from the air.
Affectionately referred to as the ‘Red Rose’, HMS Lancaster is now moving onto the next major milestone of her Ready For Sea Date. The crew hope to sail the ship back into Portsmouth under its own power for the first time in nearly four years in time for Christmas this year.
In early 2020 the ship will undergo further sea trials to ensure that all of her onboard systems are functioning efficiently. Once maximum operational capability has been tried and tested the crew plan to sail to Liverpool where a delegation will disembark for a visit to the city of Lancaster and a service of rededication at Lancaster Town Hall.
Commenting on the refit of HMS Lancaster, Senior Naval Officer and Weapons Engineering Officer Lieutenant Commander Mike Bray said: “I would like to personally thank all of HMS Lancaster Ship’s Company who have worked tirelessly to achieve the move on board. This is a major achievement and the effort required to make this happen should not be underestimated. We now look to the future and our Ready For Sea Date in December.”
As Duke of Lancaster Her Majesty The Queen first launched the Type 23 frigate in 1990. She continues to take a keen interest in the life and work of the ship and spent a day on board with the crew in 2014.