HMS Montrose's crew has recently undergone weapons testing and operational sea training (Picture: Royal Navy).
HMS Montrose has left the UK to become the Royal Navy’s first frigate to provide an enduring presence in the Gulf.
The Plymouth-based ship will be away from Britain for three years, with the frigate's company rotating next year.
The Royal Navy say the forward-deployment will demonstrate the UK's commitment to Gulf security and also give stability to the home lives of crew members.
Montrose will cross three oceans and visit four continents as she begins her global deployment, before arriving at the newly-opened UK Naval Support Facility in Bahrain.
Commander Conor O’Neill, Commanding Officer of HMS Montrose, said before the ship departed the UK: "It’s been a really interesting challenge to get ready for this deployment and one that everyone on board has risen to.
"Manning systems on this scale are something different and it’s presented a real chance to employ a bit of creativity and use our problem-solving skills.
“We’ve got an incredible deployment ahead of us – we will cross almost every ocean and sail around the world before we reach our destination. There is plenty to look forward to."
The ship's company has recently gone through a period of weapons testing and operational sea training, in order to get them ready for the deployment. Cdr O'Neill added: "You have to think about things a bit differently when you know your ship won’t be returning to the UK for more than three years.”
"What we have here is a chance to do things differently, and to challenge the status quo a bit to really make this work for the better."
Devonport-based Montrose has deployed as one of the fleet’s first set of ships to carry Sea Ceptor – a world-class new missile system designed to protect the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers.