Type 23 Frigate HMS Montrose is to be forward-deployed in the Middle East.

According to the Royal Navy, the Plymouth-based will be based in the region for more than three years, although her ship’s company will rotate to the vessel and home again beginning in Spring 2019.

“This forward-deployment serves two purposes – to demonstrate the UK’s commitment to maritime security in the Gulf while also ensuring those on board can enjoy more stability in their home lives.”

Commander Conor O’Neill, Montrose’s Commanding Officer, said:

“It’s been a really interesting challenge to get ready for this deployment and one that everyone on board has risen to.

While crew rotations are nothing new to the Royal Navy, manning systems on this scale are something different and it’s presented a real chance to employ a bit of creativity and use our problem-solving skills. 

We’ve got an incredible deployment ahead of us – we will cross almost every ocean and sail around the world before we reach our destination. There is plenty to look forward to.”

In a release, the Royal Navy say that Montrose will deploy for ‘defence engagement activity’ and maritime security operations prior to arriving in the Gulf before arriving at the newly-opened UK Naval Support Facility in Bahrain.

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Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

As first mentioned on here months ago by Gunbuster.
Is this a tailed 23 or GP?

Lee H
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Lee H

Hi Daniele And me ?, but Gunbuster probably got there first. After years of having no vision or strategy the RN have finally been allowed to get their house in order. Global Britain here we come, but in a very British way – slowly and with many slip ups on route, but we wouldn’t have it any other way ?? On a more serious note this, if true, cements our position within the Middle East, specifically with regard to naval activity. Up to 4 MCMV, 1 support vessel and an escort all working into a regional 1 star headquarters. Despite… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

? cheers Lee.

Paul T
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Paul T

According to wiki its a GP one,although it has been updated (LIFEX) with Seaceptor.

Anthony D
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Anthony D

Do you think we’ll see anymore frigates forward based ? Far East / Australia?

Lee H
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Lee H

Morning
I think it’s aomething that will be looked at, depends on how The government want to push the “Global Britain” brand.
Forward deploying another GD frigate east would be no back thing, you would have a Gus crewed ship and a Pompey crewed ship abroad at all times, good for the manning plot of anything.
Nothing permanently east of Suez in a while now, this would also enforce the 5 powers agreement and give HMG a footprint that it could expand on.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

i’d sooner see a ship based at gibraltar

andy reeves
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andy reeves

don’t suppose the families will be happy

Paul H
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Paul H

I thought all ASW specific frigates were now at Devonport?

Lee H
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Lee H

Morning
All T26 will be based at Devonport, they will become the core ASW fleet. Devonport will then become the centre of excellence for:
ASW
Amphibious Warfare
Sea Training (FOST)
Hydrography
My only concern is will the number of ships be enough to sustain the base?

Marc
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Marc

Whilst the actual Dockyard falls to pieces around us.

Steve Taylor
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Steve Taylor

Devonport is best described as crumbly……..

andyreeves
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andyreeves

the whole city has to. ratsh**oh for the old union street

Gunbuster
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Gunbuster

Matelots and the RN are not that important in Guz anymore. The Uni has over 20K students and thats where the money into the community comes from…Look at the city center, loads of new build high rises for student accom and very little of anything for the local people.
On the plus side because students are skint having paid out for the expensive accom that they live in, there are plenty of good deals in pubs for cheap food and a pint !

Chris
Guest
Chris

And meanwhile the Dutch Government has committed a new Frigate to the UK Carrier Strike Group on a permanent basis as discussed here: https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com/2018/10/going-dutch-royal-netherlands-navy-and.html They are already doing FOST out of Portsmouth and Devonport on a regular basis and handle non nuclear submarine training. A friendship typified by the Dutch Marines band on parade with the USMC and RM Bands on the occasion of Beating Retreat at the 350th celebrations of the RMs. So far from being excluded by EU and associated nations as we leave the EU it appears that old allies like the Netherlands, Norway and Portugal don’t… Read more »

Lee H
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Lee H

??

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Good. Dutch, like the Norwegians, are reliable allies.

Anthony D
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Anthony D

This is good news, I always thought allies would be really keen to work with our CBGs. Hopefully will see more of this

HF
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HF

‘France of course looks inwards’ – isn’t there a defence co-operation agreement separate from NATO that’s been in operation for 5 years or so ?

Cam Hunter
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Cam Hunter

Ahh back when we had an eastern fleet! And western fleet or just Fleets! Must have been great for Navy fans back then!! Anyway We should have based HMS Argyll or another ASW frigate then atleast the ASW suite could have come in handy. But I supose it’s a cost saving exercise having a GP frigate, and basing it there saves even more money in traveling costs. We do have the mine hunters based in the area and we should now permanently base atleast 1 frigate in the region at the Royal Navys new base..

Rfn_Weston
Guest
Rfn_Weston

I think it may have been Gunbuster on here that previously explained how ASW is a completely different ball game in the gulf due the lack of depth and business of the waterways etc… all can cloud the sonar report. Basing a GP there may very well have been a conscious decision? Thanks.

Robert Blay
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Robert Blay

I think the Navy knows what it’s doing don’t you.

Gunbuster
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Gunbuster

Passive ASW in the Gulf is not good
Its around 60m deep for the most part…you can see subs from the air with a TV camera and some clever filters and processing.
The salinity conditions and shallow water mean active is better suited than passive. With a tail out at full stay and doing a slow speed run the tail sinks down. In the Gulf thats not good…there are to many wrecks, pipelines and oil drilling paraphernalia down there to get snagged on.

Keithdwat
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Keithdwat

Time to reopen Singapore as well then!

Rokuth
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Rokuth

The RN will have to “fight” the USN for that. Since the closure of Subic Bay, Singapore has been the port of call for US Naval ships.

Lee H
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Lee H

Hold that thought ?

Steve Taylor
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Steve Taylor

The MoD maintains some bits and pieces there.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Yes a warehouse and a Naval Party to man it.

Pacman27
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Pacman27

There is nothing stopping the RN having fleets and I think we do need to move back to this model. An 8 fleet model is something we can and should adopt 2 carrier groups of 10 ships (1 QEC, 2xT26, 4xT31, 1 JALS, 2FFT) = 20 vessels 4 Standing Task Groups of 9 ships (2 T26, 4 T31, 2 JALS, 1 FFT) = 36 vessels 1 Submarine Fleet (11-14 vessels) = 14 vessels 1 deep maintenance fleet = 10 vessels (JALS is joint amphib and stores ship, T26 = current high end escort) This equates to 80 major ships –… Read more »

Anthony D
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Anthony D

Pacman. Would you really want to see type 31 operating with the carrier? 2 asuw specialists (with aaw I think your saying too). That’s not enough high end escorts for my liking. At least 2 aaw and another 2 asuw would be the minimum for me for routine tasking. Sorry if I’m getting you wrong. Target than standardised fleets if prefer bespoke groups for each theatre, with a alternating, roving, high end CBG. So a gulf/Indian Ocean task force out of Bahrain (couple t31, bay, MCM, opv), far East taskforce out of Singapore (couple t31, astute), Falklands (opv, t31), Carribbean… Read more »

Anthony D
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Anthony D

Rather than… Not target than.

Pacman27
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Pacman27

Anthony, I have no problem with T31 being deployed with the carrier group personally, as long we also have 2 T26 in attendance. 4 T31 offering an outer perimeter (hopefully with Compact C4 but certainly with Wildcats and 2 T26 (45 short term) operating either flank of the carriers is quite a shield, but the flexibility of this model is you can mix and match dependent upon operation. How and where you deploy I will leave to other, but ultimately I see a home fleet (maybe training up to a deployment overseas), and then 3 standing task groups. With a… Read more »

Anthony D
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Anthony D

I’m no expert but two type 26 with towed array would need to be operating at distance from the carrier to detect and chase down submarines and so couldn’t also be positioned for air defence of the carrier. If positioned for air defence then they can’t optimise their asuw capability. Also the type 31 won’t have towed array so would be heavily reliant on Merlin dipping sonar. Type 31 should be able to engage surface targets but the f35 would be more effective in this role due to its range and speed. So I think it’s only credible to have… Read more »

Paul.P
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Paul.P

Would be good for Montrose to have Wildcat with Sea Martlet to see off the Iranian FAC.

expat
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expat

Better still Brimestone, as trialled in 2013, would also be good to see APKWS on the Wildcat, cheap alternative and high load out against swarm attacks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vv3zp1Q0NWQ

Steve Taylor
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Steve Taylor

I said here a few days back it is a shame the Cloggies aren’t buying F35b.

Helions
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Helions

I said it before and I’ll say it now. This is why Ocean should have been retained… Serving as a mobile RFA tender for forward deployed assets… Would have been worth far more than what was realized in the sale to Brazil…

Cheers.

Anthony D
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Anthony D

I think it was that or not crew Prince of Wales. Also don’t the bay class fulfil that function?

Gunbuster
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Gunbuster

You dont need a forward support tender in Bahrain …there is now a dedicated Naval Support Facility (UKNSF…dont call it HMS JUFAIR what ever you do!). It has jetty space, workshops, warehouses, command facilities, accommodation , messing facilities and admin. Everything that Jack and Jill need on a deployment to the ME. Dilly when she was available did provide a floating engineering support facility but it was container based. Ocean (and Dilly) was mechanically , and I use a commonly used Naval Engineering term here , shagged. The cost of keeping the obsolete machinery going was just not cost effective.… Read more »

Steve Taylor
Guest
Steve Taylor

Tough this was a sensible move for MoD (N) being slightly old fashioned and a bit weary of the Middle East a ‘depot ship’ does have the advantage of being able to move if things go south. But landside infrastructure is cheaper I suppose and things never go wrong do they? 🙂

Helions
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Helions

I understand and have to agree with the overall economics of the situation Ocean vs land facilities. However, in a bad situation the Ocean could have been moved offshore and become 2 acres of sovereign UK territory – the naval station cannot and is at the whims of those who run the country – now and in the future… To my way of thought, the military advantage of a mobile ship and aviation tender not encumbered by the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” far outweigh the cons here. Then I’m not a bean counter either… 😀

Cheers!

Fedaykin
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Fedaykin

This old nugget again, HMS Ocean like pretty much all Royal Navy vessels doesn’t meet basic habitability standards for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. RFA vessels require individual crew cabins of a minimum size with a large window among other things.

The RFA does not have the personnel to go about crewing a vessel like Ocean anyway.

John
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John

Is this really the reason….. I always wondered why HMS Ocean did not replace RFA Argus ?

Martin
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Martin

Would love the RN to go back to fleets, with an eastern fleet based in Bahrain covering everything east of suez and a western fleet doing the Med and Atlantic.

Callum
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Callum

That would require a large enough navy to warrant establishing separate fleets. As it stands, 4 MCMVs, an auxiliary, and a frigate do not a fleet make.

Gunbuster
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Gunbuster

It doesn’t even rate a Squadron.

Anthony D
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Anthony D

But do we need fleets…

Bespoke task forces in Falklands, Carribbean, gulf, far east… Designed to meet the local need. For instance constabulary, disaster relief, minimal presence, usually as part of an international effort.

A contribution to standing NATO maritime groups and also uk coastal defence.

If we can add to that a high end CBG that can deploy as needed. Job done.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Agree Anthony.

Tom
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Tom

Ocean was worn out , it was increasingly hard to get spares and exspensive to maintain her. She was built with a 15-20 year life span and the navy used her hard . Would had been nice if they had replaced her but the navy lacks the manpower. No one should forget the enormous damage that the Boy George Osborne inflicted on all 3 services and the defence budget in the name of austerity and compounded by shoving the cost of the SIA/pensions/nuclear deterrent and vanguard replacement into the defence budget when they had previously been paid out of the… Read more »

Gunbuster
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Gunbuster

Taa Daa!!!

Its a GP version but has had the latest updates to the weapon systems.
It has not got the new DG Sets so it is going to have to keep using the old Valenta’s
It will have a Wildcat as well

Steve Taylor
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Steve Taylor

Valenta is probably the last great truly British engine design.

comment image?resize=993.75%2C620&ssl=1

comment image

Steve Taylor
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Steve Taylor

Valenta is probably the last great British engine design. See Upholder, See HST power cars.

Riga
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Riga

Why would I look at HSTs? They swapped out several years ago.

Steve Taylor
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Steve Taylor

Well originally I posted a picture of the prototype HST power car which still has a Valenta.

The use of the Valenta in HST was probably its most famous use.

And obviously you know this.

So…………why are you so picky?

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Steve – as a bit of a Railway Enthusiast myself I can see the value of the Valenta,theres still some life in the of Gal (just) yet,still used by EMT in most of their power cars.As an aside the Hospital I work at has, so I was told the Valenta as a back-up Generator source.

AndyMed
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AndyMed

Monmouth crew will swap with her when the ship enters refit next year. The 2 crews will then rotate.

Steve Taylor
Guest
Steve Taylor

To think there was a time not so long when we built ships just for this role.

A modern T81 would look somewhat like the Leander design for T31. If we built just three T31 for that job it would be worth buying that smaller ship design so freeing T26 for the blue water work.

Kari Reinikainen
Guest
Kari Reinikainen

Royal Navy says the ship will cross three oceans on its global deployment. Presumably this means that it will sail to South Atlantic and then cross the Pacific before heading for Bahrain across the Indian Ocean. .

Lusty
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Lusty

Maybe, unless somebody is confusing the Med’ with an Ocean!

If you’re right, it sure would be nice to see a Frigate down South again, albeit briefly.

Riga
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Riga

Of course if the RN do a FONOP through the SCS next year, it might not get to its new home with tensions the way they are at the moment.

George
Guest
George

Hi folks, it must be upsetting for our proEU friends, to see continued cooperation with UK and EU partners despite us leaving them behind. Good to see common sense prevailing despite all the negative media about UK not being in the EU club. Life goes on! Many thanks to the Dutch and support great to see articles like these.

Mr Bell
Guest
Mr Bell

Really. Or are the Dutch simply hedging their bets? New massive supercarriers come into service with a nation about to leave EU club. Dutch scared of military repercussions of said reasonably powerful militarily nation leaving the EU club. Dutch promise activate to the QE battle group. And the UK is supposed to be grateful? Surely this is just what a NATO nation and ally should do. We have been embedding our warships with US flagship carrier battlegroups for decades. Nothing new there. I would be much more impressed if our Dutch “friends and allies” actually help the UK and EU… Read more »

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

Why would we Pro Eu types be upset to see continued cooperation with our European partners as per long standing defence agreements?

What upsets us is anti EU types inability to see the success of European partnership via the EU that has massively benefited our nation! We are also frustrated at the massive loss of sovereignty as we leave one of the most powerful trade blocks on the planet and move to begging any deal we can get off anybody that will let us have a few scraps!

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Plenty of pros.

Far too many cons.

As for begging to get FTA….deary me. We are a big market we don’t need to beg.

Anthony D
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Anthony D

Not really George. Us liberal snow flake remoaners can understand that the EU and NATO are separate organisations.

George
Guest
George

By the way my post is relating to Chris’s above this one re: Dutch navy article.
Getting carried away.

Harry Bulpit
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Harry Bulpit

Is the crew and therefore their family going to based out in the middle East. Or will they simply rotate with different crews?

Steve Taylor
Guest
Steve Taylor

I think the families will be staying here just as if the ship was deploying from the UK.

Harry Bulpit
Guest
Harry Bulpit

Fair enough but ouch bad timing coming up to Christmas.

Steve Taylor
Guest
Steve Taylor

Life in the blue suit: if you can’t take a joke you shouldn’t have joined. – as the saying goes.

Harry Bulpit
Guest
Harry Bulpit

Oh I know about it. My dad’s first tour of Afghanistan was over Christmas, and the rest meant he missed my birthdays.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

“Its not just a job …its a friken adventure” was my personal favorite to my lads and lasses.

Sir Humphrey
Guest

What is this obsession with fleets? Its an admin structure to run things, not a means of fighting the enemy. Its ironic that many people who think the solution to getting more ships is ‘cut officialdom’ are desperate to increase officialdom by re-establishing ‘fleets’…

Harry Bulpit
Guest
Harry Bulpit

it sounds good, and that America has them

Anthony D
Guest
Anthony D

Is that THE Sir Humphrey?
?

expat
Guest
expat

Its not until you understand the number of Brits in the middle east do you realise how important a military presence is. Anything went pear shape and there’s 100,000s to evac.

Helions
Guest
Helions
Lee H
Guest
Lee H

Morning
How is this playing in the US, specifically at the Pentagon and at Norfolk?
Would the US look again at FF(X), now that is recognised that it is probable that this platform represents cutting edge surface ASW technology.
How hard is BAES pushing this on the hill?
Are they speaking to the yards with regards build?
Time to find out if their is a USN desk officer in the T26 programme office……

Helions
Guest
Helions

Good Morning Lee, The USN is in an enormous hurry to get the FF(X) into the water to cover a gaping shortfall that can’t be filled by the LCS. The first order is expected to be placed by 2020 and the first delivery is expected by 2023. This accelerated delivery schedule is the primary reason the USN is looking only at designs in the water now. It effectively knocked the T26 out of the run since it existed in design only. Also, pricing probably would have worked against it as well. The “sail away” cost being sought is ~ 900… Read more »