Royal Navy Begin Upgrading Type 23 Frigate With NSM Missiles

The Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigate HMS Somerset announced the commencement of Naval Strike Missile (NSM) upgrade work.

HMS Somerset, the first Type 23 frigate to receive the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) upgrade, shared photos on its official Twitter account showing the removal of the racks and the deck equipment of the obsolete Harpoon missile canisters in Davenport, UK.

In November 2022, Kongsberg announced the deal with the UK government for the purchase of NSM for the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates and Type 45 destroyers, in collaboration with the Norwegian government.

The collaboration will result in more ships equipped with highly sophisticated Naval Strike Missiles which in turn will contribute to enhancing the security in our common areas of interest. Replacing the Harpoon surface-to-surface weapon, due to go out of service in 2023, the NSM will be ready for operations onboard the first Royal Navy vessel in a little over 12 months.

Eleven Type 23 frigates and Type 45 destroyers will be fitted with the sea-skimming Naval Strike Missile, capable of knocking out major enemy warships at ranges of more than 100 miles away.

The Naval Strike Missile will plug the gap between Harpoon and the advent of its permanent successor, the ‘future offensive surface weapon’, which will become the Fleet’s premier long-range, heavy duty anti-ship missile in 2028, carried  by the Royal Navy’s next-generation Type 26 frigates, currently under construction on the Clyde.

The Naval Strike Missile is already in service with three navies – the Norwegian, US and Polish – and lined up to be fitted to the warships of half a dozen more.

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