What is the location of each of the 12 Type 23 frigates in the Royal Navy?
The information came to light in response to a written Parliamentary question.
Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, asked:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the location is of each of the 12 remaining Type 23 frigates in the Royal Navy.”
James Heappey, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, responded:
“As of 14 September 2021, HMS IRON DUKE, HMS SOMERSET, HMS SUTHERLAND and HMS ST ALBANS are in upkeep/refit at Devonport Royal Dockyard.
HMS RICHMOND and HMS KENT are supporting Carrier Strike Group 2021 in the Far East.
HMS MONTROSE is forward deployed to the Middle East.
The remaining five Type 23 Frigates (HMS ARGYLL, HMS LANCASTER, HMS NORTHUMBERLAND, HMS PORTLAND and HMS WESTMINSTER) are located in UK waters or the North Atlantic and are available for operations. Of these, HMS ARGYLL is supporting Defence at Security Equipment International (DSEI) in London.”
Hold on, weren’t there 13 Type 23 Frigates?
Recently, we reported that the long laid-up Type 23 Frigate HMS Monmouth had left the fleet leaving the Royal Navy with 12 frigates.
By the end of 2020 the ship was reported to have been stripped of weapons and sensors and laid up. In March this year it was announced that Monmouth as well as sister ship Montrose would be decommissioned earlier than planned as part of the Ministry of Defence’s Integrated Review.
“The Royal Navy will focus investment on improving the sustainability, lethality and availability of the fleet and delivering a more modern, high tech and automated Navy. To enable this, the Royal Navy will retire legacy capabilities including two of our oldest T23 frigates.”
We reported at the time that two of the oldest Type 23 Frigates were to be retired earlier than previously planned in order to fund other projects.