Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose returns to sea after two-year refit

HMS Montrose, the latest Royal Navy frigate to complete her modernization in Devonport, set sail on July 7 for the first time in almost three years.

The Type 23 frigate began her refit in 2014 and the opportunity was seized to fit her with the newly developed Sea Ceptor missile system.

Sea Ceptor and the new “Shared Infrastructure“ Command System, the brains of the ship, provides the capability to protect Montrose and other units around her from a wide range of threats.

Other work carried out included stripping the ship back to bare metal and inserting over 1000 patches of new steel to replace worn out areas after her 25 years of service, since her launch in 1992.

Babcock Marine has used over 750,000 man hours of labour working on the hull as well as power generation, a new galley, improvements to living quarters and with over 10Km of electrical wiring and 5Km of piping replaced.

The ship leaves Plymouth to commence a period of trials and training in which the ship’s equipment and personnel will be tested, proving all the work carried out during the refit.

It will be followed by a period of Operational Sea Training, which will ensure that the ship and people are fully trained and ready to deploy in support of operations anywhere in the world.

According to the Royal Navy, £36 million has been invested to keep Montrose up to date until she is replaced by the Type 26 frigates, the initial order for which was made at the start of July.

“Sailing today is the culmination of years of hard work by all the partners in this project, both Naval and Industrial, and is the start of our journey back to the operational fleet,” Cdr Conor O’Neill, HMS Montrose commanding officer said.