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Type 23 Frigate

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The Duke Class (Type 23) Frigate was originally conceived as a low cost, low capability anti-submarine specialist.

Towing a long sonar array, it was designed to patrol the Greenland/Iceland/United Kingdom (GIUK) Gap on long, unsupported patrols of up to 3 months duration.

Events such as the Falklands War, however, altered requirements, and the Type 23 evolved into a general purpose surface combatant with extensive weapon systems and sensor suites. They carry a 4.5" gun, 32-cell VLS (Vertical Launch System) for SeaWolf anti-air missiles, 2 x quad Harpoon anti-shipping missiles, 4 x 324mm Anti-Submarine torpedoes, a Westland Lynx or Eurocopter EH101 helicopter, and Goalkeeper 30mm CIWS (Close-In Weapon System) for defence against sea-skimming missiles or FAC (Fast Attack Craft).

They remain unsurpassed in their original anti-submarine role, thanks to their unique CODLAG (Combination Of Diesel eLectric And Gas) propulsion. This gives them unprecedented levels of quietness when sub-hunting. The Type 23 is the most successful frigate design in RN service since the Leander class of the 1960s.


  • Displacement 4200 tonnes
  • Length 133 metres
  • Beam 16.1 metres
  • Draught 7.3 metres
  • Range 6000 miles @ 15 knots
  • Speed Max 28 knots