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HMS Monmouth (F235)

Guided-Missile Frigate Warship

Still in service as of 2014, HMS Monmouth forms a part of the important Type 23 frigate class for the Royal Navy.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 7/19/2019
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Year: 1993
Status: Commissioned, in Active Service
Ships-in-Class: 16
Named Ships: HMS Norfolk (F230); HMS Marlborough (F233); HMS Argyll (F231); HMS Lancaster (F229); HMS Iron Duke (F234); HMS Monmouth (F235); HMS Montrose (F236); HMS Westminster (F237); HMS Northumberland (F238); HMS Richmond (F239); HMS Somerset (F82); HMS Grafton (F80); HMS Sutherland (F81); HMS Kent (F78); HMS Portland (F79); HMS St Albans (F83); CHILEAN NAVY: Almirante Cochrane (FF05); Almirante Condell (FF06); Almirante Lynch (FF07)
Roles: Blue Water Operations; Fleet Support; Hunter; Direct-Attack;
Complement: 185
Length: 436.3 ft (132.98 m)
Width: 52.9 ft (16.12 m)
Height: 23.8 ft (7.25 m)
Displacement (Surface): 5,400 tons
Propulsion: 4 x Paxman Valenta 12CM diesel generators developing CODLAG (COmbined Diesel-eLectric-And-Gas): 2,205 shaft horsepower; 2 x GEC electric motors developing 4,000 shaft horsepower; 2 x Rolls-Royce Spey SM1C turbofan developing 31,100 shaft horsepower.
Speed (Surface): 29 kts (33 mph)
Range: 7,499 nm (8,630 miles; 13,889 km)
Operators: United Kingdom
HMS Monmouth (F235) is a modern guided-missile frigate of the Type 23 class of surface combatant serving the British Royal Navy. The warship was ordered in July of 1988 and saw her keel laid down by Yarrow Shipbuilders on June 1st, 1989. The vessel was launched to sea on November 23rd, 1991 and formally commissioned into service on September 24th, 1993. Fighting under the motto of "Fear Nothing But God", she maintains an active presence in the British fleet, homeporting out of HMNB Devonport, Plymouth. She is also known by the name of "The Black Duke".

True to her design roots, the warship displaces 5,400 tons (short) and has a running length of 436.3 feet, a beam of 52.9 feet, and a draught of 23.10 feet. Power is through a COmbined Diesel-eLectric-And-Gas (CODLAG) arrangement which sees 4 x Paxman Valenta 12CM diesel generators paired with 2 x GEC electric motors (4,000 horsepower) and 2 x Rolls-Royce Spey SM1C engines (31,100 horsepower) fitted. This allows the ship to make headway at speeds over 28 knots, ranging out to 7,500 nautical miles.

Aboard is a crew of 185 and the ship can be arranged to house some 205 total personnel if needed. It carries the usual missile/torpedo survival systems and Electronic Warfare (EW) suite common to other warships of her type. Armament is 1 x 4.5" Mk.8 turreted gun (over the forecastle), 1 x 32-cell "Sea Wolf" Vertical Launch System (VLS) for Sea Wolf or Sea Ceptor Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs), 16 x "Harpoon" anti-ship missiles in twin quad-launchers, 12.75" torpedo tubes in two twin-launcher units, 2 x 30mm DS30 automatic guns, 2 x 7.62mm Gatling-style miniguns, and 4 x 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs).

All this makes Monmouth a "multi-mission" vessel capable of undertaking airspace denial, anti-ship/anti-submarine, escort, and general patrolling sorties. The warship has the in-built quality of being able to tackle threats in the air, on the water, or under water with equal lethality.

In addition to its installed systems, the warship has a combination hangar/helipad function over the stern section of the hull. This allows the supporting of one or two medium-lift/utility-minded helicopters which can be equipped for the Ant-Submarine Warfare (ASW) or anti-ship role as well as Search and Rescue (SAR) and at-sea resupply. Those helicopters equipped for submarine/ship hunting carry powerful missiles and torpedoes of their own and offer a critical "eye-in-the-sky", Over-the-Horizon (OtH) advantage.

To date (2019), Monmouth has participated in friendly tours of allied ports and assisted in humanitarian causes. She also undertook anti-piracy actions off of the Somali coast in 2011 and underwent a refit the following year Another Persian Gulf cruise was had in 2013 and another refit followed in 2015.

Despite her Cold War roots, HMS Monmouth remains fairly active in Royal Navy-related fleet actions, keeping viable as a combat platform for the foreseeable future.


1 x 4.5" Mk 8 turreted deck gun.
1 x 32-cell "Sea Wolf" GWS 26 missiles in Vertical Launch System (VLS).
2 x 30mm DS30 automatic guns.
2 x 7.62mm Gatling-style miniguns.
2 x "Harpoon" anti-ship missile launchers in quadruple mountings (8 missiles each; 16 total missiles).
2 x 324mm "Sting Ray" torpedo tubes.
4 x 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs).

Air Wing

1 OR 2 x Medium-lift navy helicopter equipped for anti-ship / anti-submarine warfare sorties.
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