The Royal Navy's Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose

HMS Montrose Resumes Gulf Security Mission

The ship is returning to operations in the region following a period of maintenance.

The Royal Navy's Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose

HMS Montrose has resumed her security mission in the Gulf after what the Royal Navy described as an "MOT and service".

The Type 23 frigate is normally based in Plymouth but is currently deployed to Bahrain as part of an operation to keep Middle East sea lanes safe and open.

The ship's maintenance included work needed to make sure her machinery and systems are ready for the region's summer, which can see temperatures of up to 50C on the upper deck and even higher in the hangar and engine spaces, which are not air-conditioned.

The ship’s company of more than 200 sailors, Royal Marines, and Wildcat helicopter crew change entirely every four months.

Port Crew, under Commander Ollie Hucker, have now taken over for the third time.

HMS Montrose's Wildcat helicopter crew
HMS Montrose's Wildcat helicopter crews rotate every four months (Picture: Royal Navy).

The frigate works with the UK's partners and allies in the region, providing protection for merchant shipping and anti-piracy patrols in the Indian Ocean.

Earlier this year, the vessel intercepted more than a tonne of cannabis while on patrol in the Gulf of Oman. The haul was said to have had a street value of £6 million in the UK.

HMS Montrose has also had confrontations with Iranian forces while on the mission, revealing almost daily probing by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in the Gulf last year.

The ship prevented the Iranians from seizing the vessel British Heritage in July last year, performing a "handbrake turn" at full speed before warding off the harassers.

Cover image: HMS Montrose on a previous patrol of the Gulf (Picture: MOD).