HMS Montrose welcomed crew back on board after a complex refit and will escort HMS Queen Elizabeth to the US to begin F-35 trials next year.
HMS Montrose has recieved a new command-and-control system, Sea Ceptor missile system and the Artisan radar.
Commodore Paul Halton, Commander Devonport Flotilla, special guest on board, addressed the crew:
“This is the most important day in the life of a ship with all that follows and when you, as the ship’s company, take ownership of your ship following the extensive work that has finally been completed.
But this is more than a ship, you, as the ship’s company, are the ship.
It is a special day. There are exciting times ahead, including getting ready for sea, going to sea and the work-up of all the systems – with the newness of Sea Ceptor, for instance. The most significant tasking will be escort to the new carrier when she goes to the eastern seaboard of the US.
I hope this will act as an extra motivation for the busier days ahead.”
Throughout its lifetime, the Type 23 frigate has been at the forefront of British overseas activity. They are regularly used in drug-interdiction raids in the Caribbean, with raids netting millions in cocaine or heroin. They have been used in disaster relief operations in overseas territories and beyond, and even in the evacuation of British civilians from Libya in 2011 during Operation Ellamy.