Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose returning to the UK in time for Christmas after four years of drugs-busting in the Gulf

CHANGE is underway for the Royal Navy in the Gulf and Middle East as HMS Lancaster arrives to relieve longstanding patrol ship HMS Montrose, which has made headlines with its huge drug busts.
HMS Montrose is set to return to the UK before Christmas, according to the Royal Navy.HMS Montrose is set to return to the UK before Christmas, according to the Royal Navy.
HMS Montrose is set to return to the UK before Christmas, according to the Royal Navy.

After three and a half years in the Gulf, Indian Ocean and Red Sea, frigate HMS Montrose has been relieved and is set to arrive back in the UK before Christmas, according to the Royal Navy.

The frigate, which left the UK in October 2018 and has been operating from the Royal Navy’s Naval Support Facility in Bahrain since April 2019, found herself at the heart of event with global repercussions when tensions in the region led to threats and attacks on merchant shipping.

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Since 2020, Montrose has seized over 16 tonnes of illegal narcotics over the course of 10 raids, denying criminal and terrorist groups at least £80m in drug dealing profits on the UK market and making headlines for the ship around the globe.

Commanding Officer Commander Claire Thompson said: ‘Drugs busts and interceptions really allow the ship to show what she is capable of – whether you are part of the boarding teams, an engineer, a chef, it almost doesn’t matter because everyone plays their part and everyone is filled with pride.

‘Thanks to media coverage these busts receive, it means family and friends are also aware of what we’ve been doing – and that’s really important.’

Just last month, the warship carried out its fifth drugs raid of the year and seized a haul of crystal meth more than £15.5 million.