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.

Frigate HMS Monmouth cut from Royal Navy fleet

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.

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farouk
farouk
26 days ago

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.

I have never liked the idea of robbing Peter to pay Paul

geoff
geoff
25 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Hi Farouk-indeed. Surely they should be retired on a one to one basis as their replacements are available. If a ship comes to the end of its useful life and it is uneconomical to refurb then the delivery of the next generation should have been planned accordingly, particularly as current numbers are so low.

Steve
Steve
25 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Just the result of progressive governments dithering over actually making cash available. It will never change, as policticans love announcing stuff, without consideration of whether it is affordable, on the basis that finding the cash is the next governments problem.

Andy P
Andy P
25 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Yeah, I can’t see it changing. A combination of cash shortages and politicians wanting to have a play don’t help.

Andy Reeves
Andy Reeves
24 days ago
Reply to  Steve

we’re allways blaming the government, the trasury e.t.c but how much blame should go to the admiralty?

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
25 days ago
Reply to  geoff

in order to keep numbers up they have also extended the planned life of a couple of the ships ( which have already gone through lifex) by a couple of years to offset the 2 early retirements. The full plan can be found on navy lookout.

Challenger
Challenger
25 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Deacon

Yes, to be fair a couple of the others are actually having their life’s extended to keep approximately 11 T23’s in service until they begin to be replaced by T26/T31 around 2026.

Also now that the T23 fleet as a whole is coming towards the end of the LIFEX process and the manpower situation has stabilized we may actually see a bit of an uptick in availability.

Andy Reeves
Andy Reeves
24 days ago
Reply to  geoff

can it float and fight? if it can then keep it or doate it to one of the commonwealth navies like new zealand,canada, australia maybe south africa for basing and maintainance facilities?

geoff
geoff
24 days ago
Reply to  Andy Reeves

100% Andy!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
19 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Don’t try to get a job at MoD then!