2021 and 2022 saw two years of action for the Royal Navy’s Type 23 class.
With such a busy time for NATO and the UK’s defence, it’s imperative that all ships, submarines, and equipment are in good working condition. In January and February of 2023, Hythe Marine Services were contracted by BAE Systems to work alongside other industry partners to complete essential maintenance work on the Type 23 vessel to ensure its performance capability was maintained to the highest possible standard of the Royal Navy.
Kent is due to undertake Fleet Operational Sea Training in March 2023, ready for the rigours of front-line deployment. Operational Sea Training involves several weeks of assessment to determine whether a warship is seaworthy and capable of carrying out missions.
In 2021, HMS Kent was one of the escorts for the UK’s flagship aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth on its maiden deployment to the Pacific Rim last year. The seven-month mission took place across 40 different countries, involving HMS Queen Elizabeth, a task group of eight supporting ships (including HMS Kent), a submarine, five air squadrons and more than 3,700 personnel.
2022 saw the start of the terrible war, the largest conflict in Europe since the Second World War. Although this obviously dominated the year, for the RN the war has not had huge obviously visible implications but added a greater sense of urgency to the standing patrol tasks and NATO commitments that were already in play.
Despite their age, the Type 23 frigates (HMS Northumberland, Richmond, Portland and Kent in 2022) continued to deliver, and several were deployed on long Towed Array Patrol Ship (TAPS) duties.
Led by our experienced manager Simon Pay, Hythe Marine Services undertook a variety of works on board HMS Kent. There was a mixture of manufacturing new parts, as well as maintenance and replacement depending on age and performance.
Specifically, the team carried out steelwork installation, electrical removals and installs, constructive removals, constructive pre-fabrication, and constructive installation, as well as painting, lagging and scaffolding.
There were tight deadlines in place which posed challenges to Simon and the team, but they planned the project well and determinedly met their required schedule. In the end, the Type 23 class team were thrilled with the work.
Led by the Royal Navy’s ultimate trainers and assessors, Fleet Operational Sea Training (FOST) is responsible for ensuring that Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels are fit to join the operational fleet.
The training package has undergone some substantial changes in the past few years, with the emphasis increasingly on shorter, bespoke training packages and assessments depending on a ship’s mission such as submarine hunting, board-and-search patrols, and task group duties.
In the Summer of 2022, Kent successfully completed FOST ready for Autumn deployment. Kent is due to begin FOST again this spring (2023).
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