HMS Montrose (F236), the UK Royal Navy’s Type 23 Duke-class frigate, has demonstrated its combat power by successfully test-firing the Boeing-built Harpoon anti-ship missile as part of a specialist training week off the coast of Scotland.
During the test, HMS Montrose launched the Harpoon missile at a speed of 800mph that hit a specially designed target barge located in the Scottish exercise areas within minutes, and validated its capability.
The firing is a part of Royal Navy’s effort to put weapons through their paces to ensure their capabilities and test personnel on exercises and training series to enhance mission readiness.
Principal warfare officer lieutenant Ben Evans said: "The intensity and stress of conducting complex warfare training increases tenfold when you know that there is almost a quarter of a tonne of warhead on the end of the live missile you are about to fire, but so is the satisfaction increased when you successfully achieve your goal."
HMS Montrose participated in the Joint Warrior 2013 multinational exercise off the coast of Scotland.
Harpoon is a 15ft-long all-weather over-the-horizon missile system that features active radar guidance, warhead design, low-level cruise trajectory, and terminal mode sea-skim or pop-up manoeuvres for high survivability and effectiveness.
Capable of accommodating a crew of 185, the 133m-long Duke-class frigates have been designed to provide anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) capabilities.
In addition to vertical-launch Seawolf (GWS 26 Mod 1 VLS), the Duke-class frigates are armed with eight Harpoon surface-to-surface missiles in two four-cell launchers, as well as four 324mm torpedo tubes capable of carrying Stingray lightweight torpedoes.
Image: HMS Montrose test fires Harpoon missile. Photo: courtesy of PO(AET) Danny Swain.