I’m incredibly proud to be taking Somerset back to sea after what has been a highly-productive upgrade.

Cdr Mike Smith

As for their ship, Somerset has received a new ‘brain’ – the DNA(2) command system which is central to her ability to deal with threats in the air, on the surface and under the ocean – the latest variant of the SeaWolf missile system, which effectively doubles its range coping with incoming enemy missiles and aircraft, and the latest MOD computer system (DII(F)) has been installed making it easier for the ship to share information with the rest of the RN and wider Armed Forces.

Chefs will enjoy working in a new-look galley, while most of Somerset’s weapons systems and sensors have undergone upgrades and alterations and new coats of paint applied to the hull – not only making her look smarter but also cut through the seas more efficiently.

All in all, a very comprehensive package – completed, says Babcock’s managing director Mike Whalley “safely, efficiently, to quality, and on time”.

It now falls to Somerset’s captain Cdr Mike Smith and his team to turn what was a lifeless hull back into a fighting unit ready to cope with any demands placed on her. He said:

I’m incredibly proud to be taking Somerset back to sea after what has been a highly-productive upgrade. The ship now has increased capability to meet the need of an adaptable Royal Navy and is ready to return to the active fleet.

Once Somerset has completed her eight weeks of sea trials she’ll be formally handed back to the Fleet to head down the long road towards deploying on active service.