In the late 80's early 90's when the class was starting to reach it's limit, they received a minor upgrade few year after the MLU, this upgrades was done when, the ships of the class was in for there annual maintenance. They are starting to show there age and that technology is running away from them, but they are kept in service until there are found a proper replacement for them.
They are kept in service (mainly for):
- There command facility.
- long range capability and the crew comfort during long range (there was a cinema onboard, a small heated pool (not for swimming), lager gym (you can also run around the entire ship on the outer deck).
- capability to operate alone but also lead a fleet.
- firepower and stability of the platform.
Disadvantage of the class was:
- heat from the funnel was more than the internal heat exchanger could handle (was later improved, but never 100% solved)
- Operation cost and maintenance cost was "extensive" "but the value of having the ship operational was more important."
- The powerplant had it's problems was fixed first after 20 years of service with new turbine engine technology
The Upgrade that was done, was mostly internal and some minor upgrade external:
- Upgrade to crew cabins
- Upgrade to C&C among them was an upgraded weapon control system, mainly computers that could be replaced, what could not be replaced was refurbished and improved.
- Food storage was extended and improved to meet new regulation
- There was found space for ships one improved cinema and also a larger gym.
- improved splinter protection after new data received from test of newer weapons.
- new Turbines to reduce downtime and improve fuel-consumption but at the same time but also reduce the number of large turbines needed, due to new turbine was more powerful compared to size, compared to the old ones
- VLS would get an minor electronic upgrade, and also an new control system (for mainly testing new system, for upcoming future VLS) by Ab-tech (Caledonia technology giant)
- CIWS would only get an combat manage system and electronics upgrade, now implementing them more into rest of the ships system. But there was not done anything to the CIWS them self, except some minor repair and upgrade to parts that have shown an early fatigue problems
- Mistral launcher received and upgrade, making them semi-automatic (controlled from C&C or local), but need to be loaded manual
- Adjustment to funnel, where funnel was angled outward to lead more of the fumes away from the funnel.
- New 140 mm main gun on fordeck, for improved AAW capability and able to fire new type of ultra long range rocket assisted shells (it was found easier and more cost effective to just change guns, then trying to upgrade old guns with it's old electronics and mechanism)
- one of the sat-come was replaced with an additional illuminator on the aft mast, it come in the addition to the gun-fire control radar on the forward mast, that received upgrade where it can assist in missile and fighter tracking, due to the new main gun.
- main "Ultra"-long range 2D radar received and "upgrade package" it was made as an bolt off, bolt on upgrade, it received an low energy medium range 3D radar that would work together or when the main Long range 3D radar is not in operation.
The upgrade was done in the following way. The first ships received upgraded parts that was stored in the reserved storage, that had been upgraded earlier, thus they could mostly do a bolt of, bolt on upgrade. Except where there is needed to do more work. The old parts that was taken off, would be refurbished and upgrade, and installed on the next ship in the class that went in for maintenance, thus saving on maintenance time by some %. It help also a little on the cost of the upgrade on a class that was nearing it's end of carrier.