HMS Portland, a Type 23 frigate, received a warm welcome upon returning to its home port in Devonport, after months of operations in the North Atlantic and surrounding UK waters.

Embarking from Devonport in early August, HMS Portland’s mission included the shadowing of Russian naval vessels and visits to ports from Belfast to Nova Scotia.

According to the Royal Navy press release, “HMS Portland has had a busy schedule since leaving Plymouth.” This included a brief collaboration with HMS Queen Elizabeth and the UK Carrier Strike Group for NATO training and exercises.

A pivotal aspect of HMS Portland’s deployment was tracking Russian warships and submarines. This task was undertaken in coordination with the offshore patrol vessel HMS Tyne and the RAF’s P8 Poseidon aircraft. The frigate monitored several Russian vessels, such as corvettes Boikiy and Grad, cruiser Marshal Ustinov, and the Udaloy-class destroyer Severomorsk.

During a visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland, HMS Portland then embarked on a transatlantic journey to Canada to participate in the Royal Canadian Navy’s inaugural International Fleet Week in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The frigate opened its gangway to the public, including participants from Techsploration, which encourages young women to pursue careers in science, engineering, trade, and technology.

HMS Portland also took part in exchanges with sailors from various international navies in Halifax, culminating in a salute to the Commander of the Canadian Navy, Vice Admiral Angus Topshee.

Upon its return to the North Atlantic, HMS Portland rejoined the UK Carrier Strike Group, escorting HMS Queen Elizabeth alongside the Type 45 destroyer HMS Diamond. The frigate played a critical role in the launch of a Training Variant Torpedo from Merlin Mk2 helicopters aboard the aircraft carrier.

With its return to Devonport, HMS Portland concludes a series of strategic operations, underscoring its vital role in maintaining security in the North Atlantic and surrounding UK waters.

You can read more about this by clicking here.

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
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David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 months ago

Well done to the officers and crew of Portland, which has clearly earned a spot of Xmas shore leave.

Portland completed her LIFEX in 2021 and with no reported problems, has had a successfull series of deployments since the summer.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 months ago

She’s been a busy girl. Well done all that helped with her.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
3 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

There’s busy and there’s busy, I realise she is the 2nd youngest T23 and completed her Lifex in March 21 but this years usage is on top of a 152 day deployment last year.
I don’t know if she had her PGMU during refit but either way this isn’t good for a ship due to stay in service for another 11 years.
On the other hand she is obviously a fine ship and a slap in the face for those who knock the work done at Devonport.

But blimey I thought the Navy had abolished flogging.🥴

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

LIFEX was completed in 2021. Is it really asking too much for her to serve to 2034?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

That’s exactly my point, she has to last in service for 33 years, even with a massive Lifex (major modernisation, upgrade and completely new uprated Engines) that’s a big ask. To put it in context Monmouth and Montrose have already been decommissioned and Westminster has had her refit “paused” due to her condition. All 3 are 2/3 years younger than Portland will be in 2034. Tasking doesn’t reduce just because we have fewer ships, that was originally spread over 16 ships, then 13 and now 10. So the workload increases per unit all of which are getting older and were… Read more »

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

You just made the point that fewer ships have to cover the same tasking (and I would argue the tasking may be increasing, because of the CSGs). So how can you do that by conserving ship hulls? The circle can’t be squared, and whatever the Navy chose would be open to criticism.

Portland will probably go back for a pre-refit assessment around 2026, at which point she’ll be 27. Last year, Westminster’s assessment occurred when she was 30. I hope that will make the difference.

Last edited 3 months ago by Jon
ABCRodney
ABCRodney
3 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Are you asking me how ? I’m commenting on how it doesn’t make any sense. And as for extending her again that depends on how quickly they wear her out.

Jonno
Jonno
3 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Maybe they can speed up the type 26’s and order 2 more with the new frigate factory. Look forward to seeing them in service.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

All good points, clearly stated. Many thanks. There seeem to be too many examples of expensive refits then a ship being sold off. Whatever happened to doing a ‘Business Case’ before a refit.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I’m sure someone like GB will point out that it isn’t that simple. Until you get them de stored into a Drydock and really examine them you can’t assess the repair’s needed. Which seems to be what has happened to Westminster, they based the budget on what had occurred to previous ships which is a reasonable start point. Unfortunately when they really got into her they went OMG or whatever expression they use in Guz ! So presently laid up with a big exclamation mark over her. I’ve never been involved with anything to with surface ships, but for Babcock… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Thanks for the very informative reply. Very useful.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I have to agree. It was already hard to avoid noticing that, where HMS Portland was concerned, it began to look closer to becoming ‘the’ Type 23 frigate rather than ‘a’ Type 23 frigate. There’s the oft-quoted: No matter how good a single vessel is, it cannot be in more than one place at a one time. It would appear that, in pursuance of influence on the World stage, there are individuals dead set on trying to prove this logic wrong. Yet still we’re committing to more defence arenas with less assets. On to the next article, which I note… Read more »

DH
DH
3 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Oh, that let the cat out o the bag 🐱🙀👌

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
3 months ago
Reply to  DH

One try’s ! Which is possibly why half my stuff gets flagged as awaiting approval.

Naughty step.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Usually, that’s just due to any links attached, I find. A security algorithm that’s also held mine for days even when the link was a previous UKDJ article. AI still majors more on artificial than intelligent, evidently. Don’t think George & Co go much beyond that.
Rgs

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
3 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Ta for info. That explains a lot ! I was getting slightly paranoid 🥴

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

You’re welcome. I also recall (once, early on) making the error of wondering what the red flag meant against my post 🤔 so pressed – just to discover it was an option if one wanted to – err, Red Flag a comment. So ended up sending my own post for appraisal & waiting days to be given the good news it had passed scrutiny! 😅 AI still…..oh I’ve said that already.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Exactly. NL had a general article re T-23 LIFEX program status, including PGMU, perhaps in 2022, but dynamic changes have occurred since that time (e.g., HMS Westminster’s status). Unfortunately, RN may have little choice, given existing commitments, other than flog the good ship and crew on an interim basis. The saving grace may be accession of first of classs T-26s and T-31 by (2028?). 🤔

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Pardon, NL article referenced was dated Nov 4th, 2020. Comprehensive list, w/ some entries obviously OBE. HMS Portland was scheduled for PGMU post-LIFEX. Actual current status unknown. 🤔

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Hopefully, but our politicians have still threatened revert to more with less (known as ‘jam tomorrow’) – or at best same numbers, even as ambition, risk and arenas of concern increase.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Morning M8 Can’t flog the crew these days it’s not allowed in KRs. Though perhaps now we have mixed gender crews who knows what Jack and Jacky get up to 🤣
If you read the post about the Korean State visit, just stay calm. We also have politicians who can drool garbage at the same time as putting both feet in their mouths. 🤷🏻

Jonathan Knocker
Jonathan Knocker
3 months ago

Great work HMS Portland. Just quietly getting on with the important and often unglamorous tasks we need you for. Enjoy the Xmas break.

Airborne
Airborne
3 months ago

And yet again the RN shows the Army how to meet all commitments, while managing both long term equipment procurement and recruitment, with a well planned out future plan, albeit with short term pain! Meanwhile the Army……tons of cash, fuck all consistency, changing ideas, changing plans and priorities, wasteful concepts and ideas (strike Bde shite) and an absolute forgetfulness about how to fight a war!

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

I was looking on wiki at army vehicles (I know) and there aren’t a lot of vehicles with all the mastiff variants being replaced by boxer and warrior there appears to be a drop in numbers coming. 623 boxers ordered to replace 625 warrior, 500 odd mastiff types and goodness knows what else. I know warrior numbers are well short of that. So the fleet will be Ajax types, boxers, FV430s, foxhounds and coyotes. I hope FV430s get replaced by an actual tracked IFV type leaving boxer to do bulldogs role. Main thought being is this enough? How’s the green… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by monkey spanker
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

It was always considered that FV430s would be replaced by MIV ie Boxer.
Why would an APC (FV430) in a second-string role get replaced by an IFV?? IFV should replace IFV.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Just so happens Forces News had a recent feature on the LR. Still valued, principally for driver training, which is nice to know. Still haven’t forgiven Jim Ratcliffe building it’s spiritual heir, Ineos Grenadier, in France all the same.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
3 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Ah, I’ve just cottoned on to your green fleet reference, I think. Thanks. Led me to the ‘Snatch’ conversions by Oxford based Electrogenic. Very interesting company, with honest corporate credentials on EV front comes across, and clearly at the cutting edge. Once more, shows that UK lacks nothing on the scientific &/or engineering front, traditional or electronic. So often, though, you need to search for the goods news. On the wider UK manufacturing issue, it seems we STILL lack generic connectivity between our technology base and ‘lauded’ City investors, entrepreneurs – & occasional billionaires? prepared to champion home-grown production. Instead,… Read more »

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
3 months ago

Welcome home Portland.. But the scary thing is that this news worthy! I’m sadly old enough to remember the 1975 Defence review which cut the RN to “just” 70 frigates and destroyers. Desmond Wettern was apocalyptic in his front page article in the Daily Telegraph – in those days serious newspapers didn’t just have a Defence Correspondent – they had a Naval Correspondent! The home coming of one of those 70 escorts after years East of Suez rarely got a notice in Navy News, let alone its own RN press release. [Singapore naval base was formally handed over that year, the frigate Mermaid… Read more »

DH
DH
3 months ago

Kin hell RB, thought it was BFPS on the tannoy, for a mo. 😁👍

Redshift
Redshift
3 months ago

And the Telegraph is about to become a state owned “news paper” the State in question being Abu Dhabi.

Redshift
Redshift
3 months ago
Reply to  Redshift

Apologies the State is the UAE.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 months ago
Reply to  Redshift

Or the UAE

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
3 months ago
Reply to  Redshift

The Telegraph being owned by Abu Dhabi – once a British “Trucial State” will be no different over it being owned by a rich wierdo living in a home-made baroque castle in the Channel Islands

As an oil-producing country Abu Dhabi can be expected to continue the Telegraph’s anti-EV, anti-renewables, anti-heat pumps, pro-sewage river dumping etc editorial policy,

Redshift
Redshift
3 months ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

That is sadly very true

geoff
geoff
3 months ago

Good Morning Richard. “Just 70 Frigates”-it’s all relative especially when talking about what was once the largest Navy in the world! At about the same time I remember a Tory politician saying we had to have at least two Aircraft carriers East of Suez!! I think I am a bit older than you(born 1949) but are you the same person who produced many military publications from about the 1970’s? I used to purchase Air and Naval mags from the UK here in SA when they were very affordable-I can’t remember all the names but one was Air International or similar… Read more »

klonkie
klonkie
3 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Morning Geoff . A small note re the70 frigate/destroyer number. This my well included a number of the type 14 Blackwood frigates(more of a corvette) assigned to the fishery squadron. I believe a number of theses 70 ships were assigned to what was then the “standby squadron” so non operational, bit in a state of low readiness. I’d be interested to know if they were to be crewed the RN reserves if required. As a young officer candidate at the SAAF college, I presented a paper on the Falklands Air combat component in November ’82. My primary references were Flight… Read more »

geoff
geoff
3 months ago
Reply to  klonkie

Morning Klonkie. I used to buy Flight International and believe it or not(I will check in the kist😄) I think I still have the copy of Armed Forces with a pic of a worse for wear Hermes(?) on the cover! I also remember being very pissed off when a local Tuning Shop made a version of the Cortina or Sierra dubbed the Xocet at the time of the Falklands campaign😐
Respect for your SAAF service my friend. Cheers from muggy Durbs!

Klonkie
Klonkie
3 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Hiya Mate – You have an excellent memory. I recall that may well have been the one -with Hermes on the cover returning to Portsmouth. I thin it used to be published by Key publishing?

Getting very warm and muggy here too. Managed to get on the beach on Sunday, very pleasant. Stay well my friend.

A Palmer
A Palmer
3 months ago

It comes to something when a warship returning from a deployment attracts so much attention.

Wasn’t Portland tied up not so long back, because of crew shortages?

What have things become?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago

I’m a dinosaur. I admit it.
6-9+ Months away is a deployment
Less than that especially if it includes UK stops is a trip.

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

You made I laugh.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I agree with your terminology. The frigate has been away for less than 4 months.

Last edited 3 months ago by Graham Moore
klonkie
klonkie
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

don’t underestimate yourself my friend, Crocodiles were of the dinosaurs age too and are diong remarkably well withy any adaptation .

geoff
geoff
3 months ago
Reply to  klonkie

..and talking of crocs, we had one in the Umgeni near Blue lagoon. When first spotted by a group of canoeists it was estimated at about 1,8 metres. The Natal Parks Board set traps to try and catch it but we had gotten used to our ‘flat dog’ and sprung the traps(even though I had worked with the NPB for a decade) It even got a photo on Sky News with me just out of shot as a group of us paddled past it on a sand bank close by. It was eventually shot following complaints by the public. The… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by geoff
Klonkie
Klonkie
3 months ago
Reply to  geoff

ha ha “flat dog” haven’t heard that term in years! Cool story though!