The British Royal Navy's Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose has commenced sea trials for the first time after completing a three-year refit in Devonport.
Montrose has been installed with a newly developed Sea Ceptor missile system and a latest ‘Shared Infrastructure’ command system as part of the upgrade works, which began in 2014.
The new technological developments will provide the ship with the capability of protecting itself and other units surrounding the frigate from a wide range of threats.
A total of £36m has been invested in HMS Montrose to date, in order to maintain the ship’s capability until its eventual replacement by the Type 26 frigates.
The initial order for the Type 26 vessels was made at the beginning of this month.
HMS Montrose was first launched in 1992, and the scope of the project included inserting more than 1,000 patches of new steel to replace old and worn out areas after the vessel’s 25 years of service.
Improvements to the ship's hull and the living quarters were also carried out, along with the development of a new galley and the replacement of more than 10km of electrical wiring and 5km of piping.
The frigate will conduct a series of trials and training exercises in order to evaluate the vessel’s equipment and personnel.
HMS Montrose commanding officer commander Conor O’Neill said: “Sailing today is the culmination of years of hard work by all the partners in this project, both naval and industrial, and is the start of our journey back to the operational fleet.
“Everyone on-board has been looking forward to this moment, and it is a proud day for all of us.”
The sea trials will be followed by an operational sea training, which will ensure that the frigate and the crew members are completely trained and ready to be deployed in support of naval operations worldwide.