The Royal Navy frigate HMS Monmouth has marked the end of a 20 -month refit in Plymouth and is now ready to embark on future operations.
HMS Monmouth has returned to Devonport following extensive sea trials off the south west coast where her array of upgraded weapon systems and sensors were fully proven and made ready for operational use – confirmed by an inspection.
The ship’s commanding officer, Commander Philip Tilden said: “To get this far on time and ready for future tasking has taken a significant effort from not only the skilled and motivated people that I am honoured to work alongside, but also from our partners in this enterprise, most notably Babcock Marine.
“The ship is now materially world class and after a period of training and consolidation, is looking forward to doing our bit towards protecting the nation’s interests well into the next decade.’’
HMS Monmouth (known informally as ‘The Black Duke’ after the Duke of Monmouth) entered refit at the beginning of 2014 and underwent significant structural work to her superstructure, including 17 tonnes of steel covering 220 square metres. The sea trials period was used to test the engines and trial updates to weapons and sensors, including the new medium-range radar, 4.5 inch gun and Seawolf missile system.
Captain Gordon Abernethy, Captain of Surface Ships in the Devonport Flotilla, conducted HMS Monmouth’s formal inspection. He said: “What I have seen has impressed me and is indicative of the spirit and effort of the people of the Royal Navy. This is the culmination of a long road for HMS Monmouth and I am confident the ship and her ship’s company are ready for the challenges that will face them over the coming months as they complete the intensive training package we put all our ships and submarines through before we send them on operations.”
HMS Monmouth will spend the next few months undertaking training and endorsement which will get her ready to be deployed on operations in the future.
HMS Monmouth returned last year from a seven-month deployment to the Arabian Gulf deterring piracy and other illegal activities, and spent the autumn in UK waters conducting maritime security operations.