We are very grateful to Flag Officer Sea Training in Plymouth for nominating HMS Somerset as the start vessel for OSTAR 2013. The ship is a Duke Class (Type 23) Frigate built at the Yarrow yard where she was launched in 1994. She was commissioned at Devonport, Plymouth in 1996 prior to taking her place in the fleet.
Since returning from a busy deployment in spring 2012, HMS Somerset has undergone an extensive docking period which has seen comprehensive upgrades to her weapons, sensors and machinery, not to mention a fresh coat of paint to her hull and upper deck. Having moved back onboard in November, the Ship’s Company was keen to get back to sea. The ship successfully sailed for sea trials in January.
HMS Somerset is commanded by Commander Mike Smith with a crew of 185 officers and ratings. She displaces 4,900 tonnes and has a top speed of 28 knots.