Type 23 Frigate

Duke Class

Based in Portsmouth and Devonport, the ships were designed to deal with the Soviet submarine threat – but in the 20 years since the fall of Communism, the frigates have proven their versatility by dealing with virtually every mission imaginable in the four corners of the globe.

The 13 Type 23, or Duke-class, frigates are the core of the front-line Fleet. They can be typically be found east of Suez, safeguarding Britain's vital maritime trade routes or Britain's interests in the South Atlantic.

Explore Weapons & Missiles

  • Weapons and Equipment
  • Mk8 Gun

    Mk8 Gun 4.5 inch medium gun

    The 4.5in main gun, found on the forecastle of all the Royal Navy's destroyer's frigates and destroyers, it is the most obvious provider of punch and firepower. The gun can fire up to two dozen high explosive shells, per minute, weighing more than 40kg (80lbs) at targets more than a dozen miles away - and nearly 18 miles if special extended-range shells are used.

    The main purpose of the gun is Naval Gunfire Support – artillery bombardment of shore targets.

    In this role the gun is capable of firing the equivalent of a six-gun shore battery.


  • Gunnery

    Gunnery Small calibre guns

    All warships carry small-calibre such as SA80, General Purpose Machine Gun and 9mm guns for use against both surface and airborne targets.

    Unlike the majority of the ships weapons systems, these guns are not radar and computer controlled, but aimed and fired by the upper deck gun crews. The weapons range in calibre and complexity.

  • Harpoon

    Harpoon Long range anti-ship missile

    Harpoon is the long range lance of the Type 23 Frigate, capable of destroying enemy ships far beyond the horizon.

    Fitted to all Type 23 Frigates the Harpoon is a sophisticated anti-ship missile capable of striking targets more than 80 miles away. Harpoon uses a combination of inertial guidance and active radar homing to attack it's prey.

    Cruising at Mach 0.9 and carrying a large high explosive warhead it is powered by a lightweight turbojet, but is accelerated at launch by a booster rocket.

  • Seawolf

    Seawolf Guided missile

    Seawolf is the shield of Britain's frigate fleet against air attack. In service more than 30 years it has proven itself in battle and remains a potent weapon to this day.

    Seawolf is intended to defend an individual ship rather than a task group. It is fired from a vertical Silo and guided on to its target by a tracking system on the ship.

    Seawolf can track and destroy a target the size of a cricket ball travelling at three times the speed of sound.

operations Combined Task Force 150

CTF 150 operates in an area that covers the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, Red Sea, and the Northern Indian Ocean. The Force was created to counter terrorism, prevent smuggling, create a lawful maritime order and conduct maritime security operations.

operations Standing NATO Maritime Group 1

operations Cold Weather Training

operations Westlant 18

Britain's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is deployed to the east coast of the United States for her maiden F-35 Lightning flying trials. Joined by her task group, including HMS Monmouth, it marks the first time F-35 stealth jets have flown from the carrier's flight deck. As well as the vital deck trials, the deployment also involves exercises to prove the ship's ability to operate with other nations’ ships and aircraft.

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Type 23 frigates are all named after British Dukes and known as 'Duke Class'