Warship makes final Montrose visit after 30 years at sea

Having travelled 400,000 miles, HMS Montrose will now be recycled for parts.

The Royal Navy warship HMS Montrose has visited the Angus town for the final time ahead of her decommissioning.

Having travelled 400,000 miles, the type 23 Duke Class Frigate will now be recycled for parts later this year.

The community were welcomed on board for a farewell tour before the ship travels back to Portsmouth, bringing an end to her 30-year tenure.

More than 5,000 people took up the opportunity to chat with the ship’s company and look at the weapons systems and controls.

On her most recent deployment, HMS Montrose spent four years on operations in the Middle East.

During that time, Montrose made ten drug busts, seizing 16 tonnes of illegal narcotics, seized illegal shipments of missiles and cruise missile engines, and helped safely guide some 130 merchant vessels through potentially dangerous maritime choke points.

Team Montrose with the £15 million drugs haul.

She returned from the Gulf in December last year.

Commander Claire Thompson, commanding officer on board HMS Montrose, said: “I can’t think that there could have been a better final port visit for our ship.

“HMS Montrose has been part of the Royal Navy for over 30 years and for her to end her time here at Montrose has been amazing.

“From the ship open to visitors, which sold out, through to sports fixtures, additional tours, and receptions, we have been spoiled by the affection we received from the town of Montrose. I am incredibly grateful for the support.”

Home to a company of around 170 people, it’s a time for reflection for many who served on her as they begin their goodbyes.

Paul Linford works in the ship’s operations room and comes from the Angus town.

Leading Seaman Paul Linford who was proud to sail home with HMS Montrose.

He said: “My nephew asks quite a lot what it’s like on HMS Montrose, so it is fantastic to be able to show him first-hand where I work.

“It was also great to catch-up with some of my friends in Montrose and introduce them to those friends I have made in the Royal Navy.

“I’ve wanted to be in the Navy since I was in first year at high school – around 12 years old – so to be able to return to Montrose onboard HMS Montrose has been a privilege. 

“The support which the town has given us has been really quite special.”

The ship has only visited Montrose six times since launching in 1992, but for locals she’s part of the community.

Her departure on Tuesday marks the end of an era not only for the Royal Navy, but this Angus town.

Scottish shipyards currently have orders to build 13 Royal Navy frigates, with five Type 31 vessels – due to replace the Type 23s – being built by Babcock at Rosyth, as well as three Type 26 ships currently under construction at BAE Systems on the Clyde. 

In November last year, a £4.2bn contract was announced for the construction of the remaining five Type 26s, which the UK Government said would secure 4,000 jobs.

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