Upgrades for HMS Kent and HMS Chiddingfold

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CPO Martin Owen helps Meon Junior School pupils with their Lego robots. Picture by Malcolm Wells

Navy engineers help students to perfect their Lego robots

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HMS Kent has been accepted back into the Royal Navy fleet following a £24m upgrade.

The Type 23 frigate underwent a 12-month refit in Scotland and since December has been undergoing tests at her home base in Portsmouth.

As well as key upgrades to her weapons system, Kent’s new state-of-the-art sonar equipment has transformed her from a general purpose frigate to a ‘world-leading anti-submarine warfare platform’, the navy announced.

The ship now begins pre-deployment training to ready her for front-line operations.

Also set to return to sea is Portsmouth-based minehunter HMS Chiddingfold which has had both her engines replaced as part of a £15m refit for all eight of the navy’s Hunt Class minesweepers.

The 30-year old Rolls-Royce Deltics engines were replaced by BAE Systems with new Caterpillar C32 ACERT engines in a bid to improve her operational availability and reliability, the navy said.