British frigate HMS Montrose is once again keeping Middle Eastern sea lanes open, say the Royal Navy.

The crew of the frigate have undergone intensive assessment to resume patrols, just months after they were carrying out the same mission in these same waters. According to a Royal Navy news release:

“The frigate is geared up for four demanding months keeping Middle Eastern sea lanes open – ­and keeping illegal activity in check – in the latest chapter of her extended tour of duty in the region. Normally based in Plymouth, the Type 23 frigate is deployed to Bahrain – the hub of the Royal Navy’s operations east of Suez – for three years as part of the new Forward Presence programme which ensures vessels spend more time at sea in an operational theatre – and their crews enjoy more settled, plan-able lives.

Every four months the ship’s company of more than 200 sailors, Royal Marines and Wildcat helicopter crew change entirely – in this case Port Crew, under Commander Ollie Hucker, moved on board Montrose for the third time.”

The Royal Navy add that the ship herself was given an ‘MOT and service’, ensuring everything is in working order.

“The ship performs a wide-ranging mission from working with the UK’s partners and Allies in the Gulf to provide reassurance to merchant shipping arriving or departing the region and conducting counter-terrorism/smuggling/piracy patrols in the broader waters of the Indian Ocean.”

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Droggys on Survey vessels and the Bahrain based MCM crews run port and stbd crew

Daniele Mandelli



Morning Daniele, My understanding is that the RN is looking to maker more use of this system because of the apparent improved work family life balance for the crews. As we all know retention of experienced personnel has long been an issue for all of the services. It also makes sense from the ship utilisation perspective. If you are transitting ships back and forth you are using valuable hull life just moving them around the global. 100 years ago when the RN could afford it they design small Battleships (pre-dreadnaughts) that once they sailed wouldn’t see home waters for years,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Afternoon CR. Agree. We no longer have the vessels, makes sense to forward deploy where able.


As old as they are it will be a shame to see the T23s decommissioned.


Agreed, I hope we can keep one of the ASW standard as a museum ship. Maybe we could base it in Cardiff, Wlaes does not have any ex RN ships, it could be used as the base for the SCC and even the RNR, possibly the flight deck and hanger could be used for government of Royal flights and the radar system could be used as a local backup for flight control. The ARTISAN is expeceted to have another 20-25 years of life so that should not be an issue. That should cover the cost. Possibly HMS Monmouth that would… Read more »

Supportive Bloke

I though Artisan was being stripped off to reuse on the T26’s – may be totally wrong.

I’d be surprised if the rather thin and hard worked T23 hulls were a good bet for being retained in this way.

T23 was not designed with a long hull life in mind – unlike County or T22.


A T23 hull is around 8mm-10mm… A T 22 around 12 mm -15mm not a lot of difference over the lifetime of a vessel. It depends a lot on how good the paint job was.


Gunbuster, hows things your end, hope and good to see that you are keeping safe. Oh and thanks for keeping me corrected sometimes. Learnt somethings from you so keep at me when you think I’m speaking pie in the sky stuff. If you ever come to Cardiff give me a headsup and I’ll take you out for a pint.


Fun in the sun especially on the subject vessel. Keeping busy and safe and sane.


With ARTISAN you are possibly correct, however even if that is the case it will be 8 units from a 13 ship fleet. So that should not be a problem as there will be 5 ARTISAN units left over from the T23s. As Gunbuster has pointed out it does depend on the paint job and as far as I am aware the underwater paint on the T23 is some of the most advanced paint you can get. The next issue is that during the ships long refits any plating that is a bit iffy is replaced, I think it is… Read more »

Meirion X

The forthcoming T26 frigates are to get kevlar
The last 6 T23s are to get the PMU upgrade diesel gen’s, to keep them going into the 2030s.