HMS Montrose returns to front-line service
Royal Navy Type 23 frigate, HMS Montrose, has returned to front-line service at HM Naval Base (HNB) Devonport, Plymouth, after undergoing upgrades, it was announced on 24 November.
Under the work package, the ship received major upgrades and updates to the latest missile system, the Sea Ceptor surface-to-air missile and to the ship’s command system and marine engineering plant.
The ship is currently undergoing preparation for operational sea training under the staff of Flag officer Sea Training Organisation, when the crew and equipment will be tested before sailing on operations later in 2018.
The Royal Navy has announced plans to relocate all eight Type 23 anti-submarine warfare frigates to Plymouth as part of a major shuffle of the fleet.
According to Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, the remaining five general purposes Type 23 frigates will be based in Portsmouth.
The switch will see some frigates moving from one naval base to another, and is expected to bring benefits to force generation, operational readiness, training and logistics.
The base port changes will occur during unmanned maintenance and upkeep over a period of five years, starting with the move of HMS Richmond from Portsmouth to Plymouth in 2018.
The re-basing of ships will see Devonport become the focus for surface anti-submarine warfare support. It will also bring the Royal Navy closer to delivering a carrier strike task group, with both Portsmouth and Devonport playing key roles in the delivery of this capability.
From 2023, Type 23 frigates that will be based at Portsmouth include HMS Argyll, HMS Lancaster, HMS Iron Duke, HMS Monmouth, and HMS Montrose. Devonport naval base will be home to frigates HMS Westminster, HMS Northumberland, HMS Richmond, HMS Somerset, HMS Sutherland, HMS Kent, HMS Portland, and HMS St Albans.
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