Type 23 Frigate HMS Montrose is the first Royal Navy warship to be overhauled in a new port in the Middle East.

The Royal Navy say that the harbour at Duqm in Oman has been carved out of sand and stone over the past decade and is now both an important commercial port in the region – and a useful staging post for Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels operating in the Middle East.

Britain also signed a deal with Oman to develop facilities at Duqm to support RN operations in the region, including carrier deployments (the new port has the second largest dry dock in the Middle East), developing a joint logistics support base.

According to a Royal Navy news release here:

“Naval vessels have been making use of Duqm for the past five years – the port was the hub for the major Saif Sareea amphibious exercise with the Omanis in 2018. Now, the Royal Navy has made use of Duqm Naval Dockyard – the joint venture between the Oman Drydock Company and defence firm Babcock, who conduct maintenance and refits on British warships, especially frigates like Montrose.

Montrose has been based in the Gulf for nearly two years as part of the Royal Navy’s Forward Presence programme to station warships in key regions around the world. All maintenance has been conducted in the Middle East to sustain the frigate’s operations – notably supporting the international Operation Sentinel keeping merchant shipping flowing safely in and out of the Gulf.A four-week fleet time support programme was provided for the Bahrain-based vessel in Duqm. The team faced 250 critical tasks in that period including air weapons handling systems, fire systems and ventilation.”

Work was also carried out in the hangar, flight deck and on the bridge, as well as mess decks.

“Despite the obvious constraints of strict Covid restrictions, the joint venture team delivered HMS Montrose back to sea on time, ensuring maximum benefit in terms of cost and quality,” said Alastair Stangroom, Managing Director for Babcock Oman.

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Duqm is used much more by the USN than the RN. They put a lot of the Fifth Fleet vessels who are working in the Arabian sea alongside there. That said the new jetty at Bahrain which opened recently has seen an upsurge in USN Tico and AB vessels conducting maintenance tasks in the Kingdom instead of transiting out to Duqm. Montrose has had one FTSP in Oman during its time in the sun. The previous periods have all been in Bahrain. The majority of assisted maintenance activities are undertaken in Bahrain on RN and RFA vessels. Emergency Drydocking has… Read more »


Morning Gunbuster. Thanks for interesting information. Nice to see the RN back on base East of Suez. Daniele will remind me 🙂 that I have said this before but it is worth recalling that I remember a Tory Minister in the early 1960’s lamenting the fact that we only had two carriers East of Suez!!

Levi Goldsteinberg

We’re also sending two OPVs to base in Singapore as we speak

Andy G

Do you have a source for this please?


A Minister today could say we have up to two carriers East of Suez 🙂

Daniele Mandelli

😆 Snow here Geoff.


Thick Fog here.
The drive in was interesting.


Applying sun block as we speak Daniele. It’s a chore but necessary 🙂


“chippy work” – Can one obtain a decent fish n’ chips in Oman?


Dont know but you can in BHR at a number of outlets. “The Frying Scotsman” is OK and they do mushy peas.