West India Dock has been very busy recently and once again today we welcome an interesting visitor with the arrival of the HMS Montrose.
HMS Montrose is the Type 23 or ‘Duke’ class of frigates, of the Royal Navy, . She was laid down in November 1989 by Yarrow Shipbuilders (who famously had a shipyard in the Isle of Dogs before they moved north), and was launched on 31 July 1992 . She commissioned into service in June 1994.
The ship is 133 m (436 ft 4 in) long, with a beam of 16.1 m (52 ft 10 in) and a draught of 7.3 m (23 ft 9 in). It usually carries a helicopter either a Lynx or a Westland Merlin.
Montrose is now part of the Devonport Flotilla, based in Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth.
In the 1990s the ship was deployed in the South Atlantic to protect the Falkland Islands, and in 2004, Montrose was one of the first ships to make contact with the damaged Canadian submarine Chicoutimi and was able to give badly needed assistance.
Since then the ship has been deployed in the Middle East and Mediterranean on anti terrorist and anti smuggling patrols.
The ship saw action off the coast of Somalia sinking a Somali pirate ship before returning once again to the South Atlantic.
More recently in 2014, Montrose joined other warships in guarding Syrian chemical weapons stockpile being removed for disposal.
HMS Bulwark is moored in Greenwich at the moment to celebrate the Royal Marine 350th Anniversary and Montrose will be joining in these celebrations as well as other official functions. Although here till next week, there will no open day due to other commitments.
Eric Pemberton has sent some great pictures of HMS Bulwark being turned around near the O2.