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UK Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose decommissions

The UK Royal Navy's eighth Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose is formally decommissioned from service during a ceremony held at HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, on 17 April 2023. (Royal Navy)

The UK Royal Navy's (RN's) eighth Type 23 Duke-class frigate, HMS Montrose (F 236), has officially retired after 29 years of active service.

The ship was formally decommissioned during a ceremony held at HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, on 17 April.

Montrose was laid down in November 1989, launched on 31 July 1992, and commissioned into service in June 1994.

From October 2014 to July 2017, Montrose underwent a major life-extension (LIFEX) refit that was intended to keep it in service until around 2027. The ship's early retirement, alongside that of sister ship Monmouth, was announced by the UK Ministry of Defence in its Defence Command Paper, Defence in a competitive age, published in March 2021, as part of efforts to free up resources for the RN's recapitalisation programme. The savings accrued will enable the three remaining Type 23 general-purpose frigates – Argyll, Lancaster, and Iron Duke – to run on until later in the decade.

Monmouth, which had been laid up since 2018 awaiting commencement of its LIFEX, was decommissioned in June 2021.

Montrose spent the bulk of the last four years permanently deployed on maritime security operations almost exclusively in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, and was the lead ship in the RN's pilot project to forward deploy a frigate to the UK Naval Support Facility in Bahrain. During that time, Montrose

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