The ‘Fighting Clan’ has once again proven her fighting worth by firing her 4.5in main gun for the first time since coming out of refit in March.
The firing, in the South Coast exercise area, demonstrated that HMS Sutherland’s weapons systems are working correctly and saw 88lbs of steel and power leaving the barrel of her main gun at more than twice the speed of sound.
Overseeing the shoot was the Devonport based frigate’s weapons engineer officer, Lieutenant Commander Jon Boughton – whose responsibilities include making sure Sutherland’s weapons systems are working correctly.
He said: “I’m extremely proud of my team and what they’ve achieved. This was an important milestone in our regeneration for national tasking and signals that the Fighting Clan is ready for the next challenge.”
For four decades the distinctive Mk 8 Mod 0 gun – fitted to all Type 42 destroyers, Type 23 and later Type 22 frigates – was the Fleet’s principal weapon against targets ashore.
But over the past decade the Mod 0 has gradually been replaced by the Mk 8 Mod 1.
The newer gun is an electrical system with hydraulics only for ramming the round into the breach. The angular shape of the Mod 1 also reduces its radar cross-section.
Chief Petty Officer Gavin Roberts, the gun’s maintainer, said: “This firing has been a great opportunity to prove what the ships primary offensive weapon is capable of.”
HMS Sutherland now continues with her few remaining trials and preparations before the ship begins its Operational Sea Training period.