From the period of 1985 until 1999, UK ship-building undertook construction of sixteen "Type 23" warships for both the Royal Navy and the Chilean Navy. Three were taken on by the latter while, for the former, a total of sixteen were commissioned. Among the number became HMS Montrose (F236) which was laid down by Marconi Marine on November 1st, 1989, launched on July 31st, 1992, and formally commissioned into service on June 2nd, 1994. The warship, a guided-missile frigate, maintains an active status in the British Royal Navy fleet today (2019).
The frigate is classified as an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) vessel though it is clearly capable of undertaking other defined roles including airspace denial, blue water patrolling, and escort. It carries a displacement of 5,000 tons and has a length of 436.3 feet, a beam of 52.9 feet, and a draught down to 23.10 feet.
The propulsion scheme is of COmbined Diesel-eLectric-And-Gas (CODLAG), utilizing the best traits of electric generators, diesel-, and gas-centric systems to improve on fuel efficiency. 4 x Paxman Valenta 12CM diesel generators are installed along with 2 x GEC electric motors of 4,000 horsepower and 2 x Rolls-Royce "Spey" SM1C turbines offering 31,100 horsepower. Maximum speed in ideal conditions can reach over 28 knots and range is a useful 7,500 nautical miles.
Aboard is a crew complement of 185 but the vessel can support a full complement of up to 205 personnel.
Its profile involves proven design methods complete with a single turreted deck gun over the forecastle, a 32-cell missile unit aft of the gun and ahead of the bridge superstructure, a low-profile fully-enclosed smoke funnel assembly near midships, and an aft-hull superstructure section stepping down to a full-service helipad. The warship can support one or two medium-lift rotorcraft through its combination landing pad / hangar facilities, these aircraft traditionally being equipped for the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) or anti-ship role but can undertake Search and Rescue (SAR), Over-the-Horizon (OtH) patrol sorties, and transport duties as needed. Supported helicopters are typically the Westland "Lynx" HMA.8 or Westland "Merlin" HM.2 types.
Armament for Type 23 warships involves 1 x 4.5" BAe Systems Mk.8 series turreted naval gun. A 32-cell "Sea Wolf" Vertical Launch System (VLS) is embedded in the forecastle and supports the launching of the "Sea Wolf" or the "Sea Ceptor" Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) families. In addition to this, the vessel is equipped with 2 x 30mm Mk.2 series guns, 2 x "Harpoon" anti-ship missile launchers in quadruple mountings, and 4 x 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMGs) for extreme close-in defense. There is also support for a pair of 7.62mm miniguns for a ferocious close-defense capability. 2 x 324mm "Sting Ray" twin torpedo launchers are also installed.
HMS Montrose has been actively operating since 1994 with visits to the South Atlantic and the Middle East theaters. She carries the six battle honors of her former incarnation, HMS Montrose (D01), a World War 2 (1939-1945) veteran seeing action in the Atlantic, at Dunkirk, the Arctic, the North Sea, the English Channel, and Normandy.