The Queen’s ship, HMS Lancaster makes three day visit
2:45pm Wednesday 30th May 2012 in In Port
The Queen’s ship, HMS Lancaster, under the command of Commander Steve Moorhouse, makes a three-day courtesy visit to Falmouth.
Lancaster, a 21-year-old Duke Class frigate, has undergone £22 million worth of improvements and upgrades since September 2010.
The ship was built by the Yarrow yard (today BAE Systems) on the Clyde as the fourth of 16 Type 23 frigates and joined the Fleet in Portsmouth back in 1992.
Typically, when on deployment, she will be found either in the Caribbean drug-busting or east of Suez ensuring freedom of the seas. On returning from those deployments she is greeted, wherever possible, by a Lancaster bomber of the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, which provides a fly past over Portsmouth Harbour HMS Lancaster has received several major upgrades to her weapon systems and sensors, including new, fully automatic 30mm close-range guns on either side of the ship, the latest version of the Seawolf air defence missile system – effectively doubling its range – and a new ship’s brain, the command system which deals with the masses of information from the frigate’s myriad of sensors.
On the engineering side, the warship has received four new diesel generators, while all four turbine engines have been overhauled, anti-fouling paint applied to the keel and the addition of a transom flap on the stern – an underwater spoiler, for want of a better description, which makes her cut through the sea faster and hence more efficiently.
As with all her sisters in the 13-strong class of Type 23 frigates, Lancaster is named after the Duke of Lancaster, a title which has been held by the monarch since the days of Henry IV at the end of the 14th Century.
All the ships in her class are named after dukes. The Queen is HMS Lancaster’s sponsor and takes a keen interest in her deeds around the globe. To mark the ship’s association with the Queen, the vessel departed on her sea trials with a new flag flying from her mast – that of the Duchy of Lancaster, donated by Paul Clarke, the chief executive officer of the duchy and his wife, Vanessa.
HMS Lancaster has been accepted back into the Fleet after a period of upkeep in Portsmouth. She is in the midst of intensive training, readying herself and her ship’s company for a deployment in 2013.