HMS Monmouth (F235)

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Type 23 Frigate HMS Monmouth Sails for the Middle East MOD 45152712.jpg
HMS Monmouth, 2011
Name: HMS Monmouth
Operator: Royal Navy
Ordered: July 1988
Builder: Yarrow Shipbuilders
Laid down: 1 June 1989
Launched: 23 November 1991
Commissioned: 24 September 1993
Refit: Major 2014–2015
Homeport: HMNB Devonport, Plymouth
Motto: "Fear Nothing But God"
Nickname(s): "The Black Duke"[1]
Status: in active service
Badge: Hms Monmouth badge.gif
General characteristics
Class and type: Type 23 Frigate
Displacement: 4,900 t (4,800 long tons; 5,400 short tons)[2]
Length: 133 m (436 ft 4 in)
Beam: 16.1 m (52 ft 10 in)
Draught: 7.3 m (23 ft 9 in)
Speed: In excess of 28 kn (52 km/h; 32 mph)
Range: 7,500 nautical miles (14,000 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h)
Complement: 185 (accommodates 205)
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried:
Aviation facilities:

HMS Monmouth is the sixth "Duke"-class Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy. She is the seventh ship to bear the name and was launched by Lady Eaton in 1991, being commissioned two years later.

Affectionately known as "The Black Duke", Monmouth is the only ship in service with the Royal Navy that has its name painted in black and flies a plain black flag in addition to the ensign. This is due to the dissolution of the title and the blacking out of the Coat of Arms of the Duke of Monmouth in 1685 following the Monmouth Rebellion against James II of England. As of 2018, Monmouth carries the most battle honours of any ship name currently serving in the Royal Navy.[3]

Operational history[edit]


Monmouth visited Wellington in June 1995 in company with RFA Brambleleaf, the first UK or US warship to visit New Zealand since the 1985 ANZUS dispute. Another "first" followed in 1999 as Monmouth became the first major Royal Navy vessel to visit Dublin since the 1960s.

In October 1997, Monmouth, in company with RFA Orangeleaf and French frigate Surcouf stood by off Pointe Noire in West Africa on Operation Kingfisher - in readiness for evacuation during the deteriorating political situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[4]

On 11 February 1998, Monmouth was ordered to stand by off Sierra Leone as part of Operation Resilient to provide humanitarian assistance during the Civil War in the region.


In early 2004 the ship was assigned to the Atlantic Patrol Task North. In 2006 Monmouth underwent operational sea training, conducted by Flag Officer Sea Training, in which she spent six weeks fighting off staged attacks by ships and submarines.

Monmouth returned to berth at her home port HMNB Devonport on 3 December 2007 having completed a circumnavigation of the globe, visiting Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii and taking part in a FPDA Exercise.

In 2008 she went into refit and in 2009 deployed to the Gulf, returning in April 2010.

On 27 May 2010, she escorted the fleet of "little ships" commemorating the 70th anniversary of Operation Dynamo, the evacuation from Dunkirk on 27 May – 4 June 1940 of approximately 340,000 British and French soldiers, and one of the most celebrated military events in British history.

2011 onwards[edit]

Monmouth spent June 2011 in the Indian Ocean patrolling the waters off Somalia as part of the ongoing multi-national anti-piracy operations in the region. The deployment also saw her spend some time in Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles where she took part in the islands' Independence celebrations.[5]

In February 2012, Monmouth began a six-week refit period at Devonport's frigate shed, following on from a seven-month deployment in the Indian Ocean which began in 2011. For the refit, the ship was taken out of the water into an enclosed dry-dock.[6]

In May 2013, she returned to her home port after a seven-month mission to the Gulf.[7] Monmouth also hosted an International Principal Warfare Officer's course in 2013.[8] She participated in Exercise Joint Warrior 2013.[9] From October 2013, Monmouth was operating in home waters as the Fleet Ready Escort.

In June 2015, Monmouth emerged from an 18 month refit in Devonport for sea trials[10] and made her first ever visit to Hamburg in December.[11]

In February 2016, Monmouth and her sister HMS Iron Duke participated in NATO exercise Dynamic Guard in Norwegian waters.[12] In August, Monmouth, in company with HMS Tyne and RFA Argus, anchored off Bournemouth for the town's annual air festival.[13] By September, she was exercising in Canadian waters and was involved in the rescue of an injured Canadian fisherman 100 miles east of Nova Scotia.[14]

On 6 March 2017, Monmouth sailed from Devonport to relieve HMS Daring in the Gulf; in May she was participating in Combined Task Force 150 when they stopped and searched a fishing boat in the Indian Ocean discovering 455 kg of cannabis and 266 kg of heroin.[15]

In June 2017, Monmouth's Wildcat rescued a crewman from the sunken merchant tanker Rama 2 and transferred them to RFA Cardigan Bay for treatment.[16] She returned to the UK in time for Christmas 2017.[17]

Monmouth deployed on 23 August 2018 from Plymouth as escort for HMS Queen Elizabeth, as she deploys to the eastern seaboard of the United States for 'Westlant 18', during which the carrier will be conducting F-35 Lightning II flying trials. The task group also consists of RFA Tiderace and possibly a Royal Navy submarine [18][19] HMS Monmouth's Wildcat HMA2 helicopter, nicknamed "Blackjack" of 213 Flight, of 815 NAS became the first Wildcat to land aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth on 3 September 2018.[20]

Related images[edit]

Commanding officers[edit]

From To Captain
1993 1994 Commander Graham Ramsay
1994 1996 Commander Alan Richards
1996 1998 Commander Malcolm Sillars
1998 2000 Commander Paul Lemkes
2000 2002 Commander Tim Stockings
2002 2004 Commander Guy Haywood
2004 2006 Commander Jerry Kyd
2006 2008 Commander T.J. Peacock
2008 2010 Commander Tony Long
2010 2012 Commander D. Bassett
2012 2014 Commander Gordon Ruddock
2014 2016 Commander P. Tilden
2016 Commander Ian David Feasey (from 2016)[21]



  1. ^ "HMS Monmouth deploys to Gulf region". Ministry of Defence. 31 March 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Type 23 Frigate". Royal Navy. Archived from the original on 1 January 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  3. ^ "HMS Monmouth (F235)". Royal Navy. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  4. ^ "RFA Orangeleaf". Historical RFA. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Full speed ahead for Monmouth in paradise". Navy News. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Monmouth's affiliates get a rare chance to see her exposed bottom". Navy News. 27 February 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  7. ^ "HMS Monmouth home to heroes' welcome from patrol". Royal Navy. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  8. ^ "International flavour to HMS Monmouth's Autumn training". Royal Navy. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Scotland set to host Exercise Joint Warrior". Royal Navy. 2 October 2013. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013.
  10. ^ "HMS Monmouth sails again". Royal Navy. 15 June 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  11. ^ "HMS Monmouth visits Hamburg". Royal Navy. 7 December 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Submarine hunting is black and white for Monmouth in Norwegian fjords". Royal Navy. 23 February 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Royal Navy helps make Bournemouth Air Festival a flying success". Royal Navy. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  14. ^ "HMS Monmouth breaks off Canadian exercise to save fisherman's life". Royal Navy. 19 September 2016. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  15. ^ Matthews, Alex (31 May 2017). "Royal Navy's £65million catch! HMS Monmouth heroes raid Indian fishing boat and seize huge haul of heroin and cannabis in major blow to terrorism". Daily Mail.
  16. ^ "Royal Navy air crew rescues last survivor of sunken tanker". Royal Navy. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Monmouth Gulf-bound filled with "a keen fighting spirit"". Navy News. 7 March 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  18. ^ "HMS Queen Elizabeth sails for the United States - here's the plan". Save the Royal Navy. 18 August 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Commander Ian Feasey RN" (PDF). Royal Navy. Retrieved 9 October 2017.

External links[edit]