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HMS Montrose (F236)
HMS Montrose (F236) at the South Mole, HM Naval Base, Gibraltar.jpg
HMS Montrose
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Montrose
Operator: Royal Navy
Ordered: July 1988
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down: 1 November 1989
Launched: 31 July 1992
Commissioned: 2 June 1994
Homeport: HMNB Devonport, Plymouth
Motto: Mare ditat rosa decorat
Latin: "The sea enriches and the rose adorns"
Status: in active service, as of 2022
General characteristics
Class & type: Type 23 Frigate
Displacement: 4,900 tonnes, standard[1]
Length: 133 m (436 ft 4 in)
Beam: 16.1 m (52 ft 10 in)
Draught: 7.3 m (23 ft 9 in)
Propulsion: CODLAG with four 1510 kW (2,025 shp) Paxman Valenta 12CM diesel generators powering two GEC electric motors delivering 2980kW (4000 shp) and two Rolls-Royce Spey SM1A delivering 23,190 kW (31,100 shp) to two shafts
Speed: 28 knots (52 km/h; 32 mph) (higher speeds have been recorded in trials)
Range: 14,485 kilometres (9,001 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 185 (plus up to 30 shoreside "squad" members)
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • 4 x 6-barrel Seagnat decoy launchers
  • DFL3 offboard decoys
  • Anti-air missiles:
  • Anti-ship missiles:
  • Anti-submarine torpedoes:
  • Guns:
  • Aircraft carried:

    Lynx HMA8, armed with;

    • Sea Skua anti ship missiles, or
    • 2× anti submarine torpedoes

    Westland Merlin HM1, armed with;

    • 4× anti submarine torpedoes
    Aviation facilities:
  • Flight deck
  • Enclosed hangar
  • The current HMS Montrose is the eighth of the sixteen ship Type 23 or 'Duke' class of frigates, of the Royal Navy, named after the Duke of Montrose. She was laid down in November 1989 by Yarrow Shipbuilders on the Clyde, and was launched on 31 July 1992 by Lady Rifkind (when, as Mrs Edith Rifkind, her husband Sir Malcolm Rifkind was Secretary of State for Defence). She commissioned into service in June 1994.

    Montrose is part of the Devonport Flotilla, based in Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth.[2]

    Ship's History

    Previous ships

    There has only been one previous ship built with the same name, which was HMS Montrose (D01), the first of eight Admiralty-type destroyer leaders, sometimes known as the Scott class. However, whichever tender was attached to the Tay Division of the Royal Naval Reserve was always renamed HMS Montrose in honour of James Graham, 6th Duke of Montrose, who founded the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1903; the last ship that was so named was the Ton class minesweeper HMS Stubbington.

    Battle Honours

    All of HMS Montrose battle honours were won by her WW2-era predecessor, and are as follows:

    Atlantic (1939-1940)
    Dunkirk (1940)
    Arctic (1942-1943)
    North Sea (1942-1944)
    English Channel (1943-1944)
    Normandy (1944)

    The honours board for that ship can be seen on board the preserved frigate HMS Unicorn, alongside in Dundee.[3]

    Commanding officers

    As the flagship of the 6th Frigate Squadron (or F6), many of the first commanding officers of HMS "Montrose" were Captains, rather than Commanders, as they had administrative responsibility over all the Type 23 frigates based in Devonport. The equivalent squadron for the Portsmouth-based Type 23s was the 4th Frigate Squadron. With the abolition of the frigate and destroyer squadrons in 2002/3, and their replacement by Flotillas, command of "Montrose" reverted to a that of a Commander.

    Name Date
    Cdr J W Arrow 1993-1995
    Capt N S S Kilgour 1995-1996
    Capt T J H Laurence MVO 1996-1997
    Capt A R Nance OBE 1997-1998
    Capt R G Cooling 1998-2000
    Capt C A Johnstone-Burt OBE 2000-2001
    Capt M J Parr 2001-2002
    Cdr A J Webb 2003-2005
    Cdr A J L Watt OBE 2005-2007
    Cdr A L Hogben 2007-2008
    Cdr J M Lowther 2009
    Cdr W J Warrender 2009
    Cdr J D Lett 2009-2012

    At least three Commanding Officers have been subsequently promoted to Vice Admiral, including the husband of the Princess Royal, Timothy Laurence, who assumed command of the ship (and the 6th Frigate Squadron) on 27 August 1996.

    Operational history

    Montrose in Dundee Docks, 1998

    Service in 1990s/early 2000s

    Deployments in the 1990s include her first trip to the South Atlantic, as Falkland Islands Guardship, which ended in October 1996. Her first visit to the City of Dundee was in Easter 1997. Several NATO deployments followed, and in early 2002, Montrose returned to the Falklands on the now-renamed Atlantic Patrol Task (South) deployment, during which divers from Montrose replaced the White Ensign on Antelope, which was sunk during the Falklands War. On her return from this deployment, she conducted her first refit period (RP1), which was completed in early January 2004.

    2004 Chicoutimi Incident

    In October 2004, Montrose was one of a number of a ships that was dispatched to the rescue of the stricken Canadian submarine Chicoutimi (an ex-Royal Navy Upholder-class submarine) which had suffered a number of fires on board, causing casualties and the loss of power in the submarine. Montrose was the first Royal Navy vessel to make contact with the boat and assisted the submarine.[4]

    Service in late 2000s

    Montrose deployed in 2006 to the Persian Gulf on Operation Telic in the first half of 2006. After returning to the UK for personnel changes and maintenance, from 8 January to 27 July 2007, Montrose then deployed for seven months to the Mediterranean Sea as the UK contribution to the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2). As part of this group, she participated in NATO’s Operation Active Endeavour (OAE), countering terrorist activity in the Mediterranean and preventing smuggling and other illegal activity. After Summer Leave, the ship headed to Scotland to take part in Exercise Neptune Warrior, during which time she was visited by Prince Michael of Kent, Honorary Rear Admiral of the Royal Naval Reserve, on 24 September 2007.

    Following Operational Sea Training, Montrose deployed again to the Middle East on 12 March 2008 to join Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, operating in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. Activity in this deployment included Exercise KhunjarHaad, a multi-national exercise held in the Gulf of Oman,[5] and (working with Chatham, Edinburgh and RFA Argus the seizure of over 23 tonnes of drugs including cocaine, hashish, amphetamines and opiates.[6] She returned home on 3 October 2008, and after operating in UK waters, commenced a £15,000,000 upkeep package at Rosyth in early 2009.

    This second refit package (RP2) included a number of major capability upgrades for the ship, including the first fitting of the Royal Navy’s newest command system, DNA(2), and the replacement of the two old manually-operated 30mm guns with two 30mm DS30M Mark 2 Guns.[7] Having rejoined the ship on 20 July 2009, the Ship's Company conducted post-refits trials until January 2010, and Montrose was formally accepted back into the Fleet on 11 February 2010.

    Service in early 2010s

    After operational sea training Montrose deployed to Arabian Sea in Summer 2010 to conduct anti-piracy operations, highlights of which included the November 2010 destruction of a Somalian pirate ship by the ships Lynx helicopter while on patrol off the coast of Somalia and the disruption of several pirate attacks on merchant ships.[8]

    In October 2011, Montrose deployed again to the South Atlantic,[9] during which she was due to visit Callao, Peru in March 2012, but the Peruvian government cancelled the visit, according to the Foreign Minister, as a gesture of solidarity with Argentina over the Falklands.[10] After visits to New Orleans and Bermuda in March and April 2012, Montrose returned to the UK in May 2012.[11] In July 2012, the ship acted as the escort vessel for HM the Queen during her Diamond Jubilee visit to Cowes.[12]

    It was reported on her website that she was one of the ships participating in COUGAR 12. Currently as of 2013, the ship and crew are undergoing training to return to the front line.[13] She will be part of the COUGAR 13 task group.[14] In late 2013, she exercises with RFA Diligence (A132)[15]

    Visits to Dundee and Montrose

    Montrose has visited the city of Dundee on many occasions, include Easter 1997, 6–9 November 1998 (Dundee Navy Days), 9 October 2004 (for wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the 200th anniversary of the death of Admiral Adam Duncan), 4 June 2005, and 9–13 November 2006 (covering the Remembrance Sunday memorial service).

    Although the port of Montrose is smaller than Dundee, Montrose has been able to call in when circumstances allow, including November 2008, when Angus Provost Ruth Leslie Melville took the salute during a Remembrance Sunday parade, and members of the public were invited to look around her.

    Montrose at dusk in Dundee Docks, 1998



    1. "Type 23 Frigates". Royal Navy. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
    2. "HMNB Devonport". 
    3. "The Frigate Unicorn". Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
    4. - Fire on the HMCS Chicoutimi Timetable of Events[dead link]
    5. Lt. (j.g.) Courtney Thraen, USN (8 August 2008). "USS Momsen Visits Cyprus". NNS080805-04. USS Momsen Public Affairs. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
    6. "South West Royal Navy Ships Seize 23 Tonnes of Drugs in Gulf.". Royal Navy. 13 July 2008. 
    7. "Scott, Richard, ''ASCG enhances Type 23 close-in defence'', International Defence Review, 30 October 2007". Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
    8. "Marines on HMS Montrose destroy Somali pirate boat". The Courier. 26 November 2010. 
    9. "Montrose begins six-month stint in the South Atlantic". Royal Navy. 25 October 2011. 
    10. "Peru cancels Royal Navy visit over Falklands". BBC News. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012. 
    11. Ministry of Defence (2012-05-15). "HMS MONTROSE returns home". Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
    12. "A 'Rose for Her Majesty - retrieved 17 August 12". 2012-07-25. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
    13. "HMS Montrose". Royal Navy. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
    14. Ministry of Defence (2013-08-08). "Royal Navy set for Cougar 13 - News stories". GOV.UK. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
    • HMS Montrose Type 23 Frigate guide. Directorate of Public Relations (Royal Navy). Printed in UK for HMSO by Roman Press Ltd, Bournemouth. Crown Copyright 1995, London.
    • Devonport Navy Days guide 1999

    External links

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