The British Ministry of Defence has announced plans to upgrade the power plants on board 12 of the Royal Navy’s 13 Type 23 (Duke-class) general-purpose frigates. The oldest surviving member of the class, HMS Argyll (pictured here), is not scheduled to receive the new engines since she has already begun her long-planned life-extension program. The 12-ship modernization, announced in August, will make possible increased efficiency and greater engine power through the acquisition of 48 new 12V 4000 M53B diesel generator sets built by the Rolls-Royce subsidiary MTU. This marks the first time that the German and Austrian-built MTU engines will be installed aboard Royal Navy combat ships. New voltage converters are also being acquired for each of the 12 upgraded frigates. Deliveries and installation of this new equipment are expected to take place between 2016 and 2024, during upkeep periods for each frigate at the naval base in Davenport.
By Eric Wertheim