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HMS Monmouth

HMS Monmouth, the ‘Black Duke’ – the ship which has more battle honours than any other serving warship.

Monmouth flies the flag for Armed Forces Day with 50 days to go

Following a successful maintenance period in July and a well deserved leave period during August, it is now back to business for HMS Monmouth.

Since returning from her Gulf deployment one third of the Ship’s Company have moved on. The challenge is now to train and integrate 50 new faces as quickly as possible in order to be fully ready for the future programme.

To start the autumn programme, Monmouth has been tasked with training international Warfare Officers, conducting assessment for future ships’ Navigators and supporting various helicopter squadrons with their aviation training.

Alongside these commitments, the Black Duke assumes responsibility as the Fleet Ready Escort at the start of October. This means that if an unforeseen event takes place around UK waters, Monmouth will be tasked to respond.

Whilst the Ship will be working hard to meet these responsibilities, there are some exciting port visits in Wales, Ireland and Scotland over the coming months.

This will help break up the time at sea and will allow the Ship’s Company to step ashore and explore some new cities, whilst giving us the opportunity to let the public see the ‘Black Duke’ close up.


Trish Kohn

Lieutenant Commander
HMS Tracker, HMS Cardiff
Military experience

Trish Kohn was educated at Lenzie Academy, and the University of Glasgow before joining the Royal Navy in 1997. Her first appointment as Navigating Officer of the minehunter HMS Bridport was highlighted by deployments to both the Baltic and the Mediterranean. She then spent 15 months navigating the destroyer HMS Cardiff which included a deployment to the Northern Gulf and Op TELIC in the lead up to the 2003 Iraq War.

In 2004 she took command of the patrol boat HMS Tracker and Oxford University Royal Naval Unit. After completing PWO Course, she served as the PWO(U) and Operations Officer in the frigate HMS Monmouth, the highlight of which was circumnavigating the globe during the VOLANS 07 deployment.

After spending 21 months on the staff at BRNC as Cunningham Squadron Officer, she joined COMUKTG battlestaff for a short but exciting assignment which included the inaugural RFTG Cougar deployment, numerous amphibious exercises and Operations off Libya, embarked in the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle as the liaison officer for Op Unified Protector.

Trish happily returned to HMS Monmouth as the Executive Officer in 2012 and has since completed a full re-generation cycle including an Op KIPION deployment, culminating in taking over as the Senior Naval Officer in Dec 2013 and taking the ship into refit in 2014.




HMS Monmouth helps mammoth aircraft carrier through Channel
HMS Monmouth helps mammoth aircraft carrier through Channel
16 December 2013

While the Royal Navy awaits delivery of the Queen Elizabeth...

Desmond Wettern media awards 2013
Desmond Wettern media awards 2013
09 December 2013

The winner of this year’s Desmond Wettern award is Type...

(Northern) Irish eyes smiling for Monmouth on Belfast visit
Monmouth sails into Plymouth for the final time in 12 months ahead of revamp
09 December 2013

After sailing more than half a million miles in a...

(Northern) Irish eyes smiling for Monmouth on Belfast visit
(Northern) Irish eyes smiling for Monmouth on Belfast visit
06 December 2013

Four days in the great city of Belfast marked the...


Maritime security - On Patrol


British ships and units are committed to operations around the world. Operations focus on maritime security, reassurance and wider regional engagement to build regional maritime capability.

Middle East Patrol


Units of the Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary have been on patrol in the Gulf since October 1980, after the Iran/Iraq conflict of that year, and more recently operations have extended further south with the increase in piracy off the Somalia coast. Having warships present in the region is one of the main tools the UK has to show our commitment to this part of the world.

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Weapons System

Type 23 Weapons System
type 23
  • 4.5Mk8 Gun
    medium calibre weapon system
    Mk8 4.5 Gun

    If you're looking for punch and firepower, then the 4.5in main gun, found on the forecastle of all the Royal Navy's destroyer's frigates and destroyers, is the most obvious provider. Even in an age of missiles, there's still a need for a weapon to pulverise enemy positions and demoralise the foe - and the 4.5in gun has done so in the Falklands and Iraq. The gun can fire up to two dozen high explosive shells weighing more than 40kg (80lbs) at targets more than a dozen miles away - and nearly 18 miles if special extended-range shells are used. In various forms, the 4.5in has been the Navy's standard medium gun since before World War 2, embodied today by the Mk8 which has been in service since the early 1970s. There are two types of Mk8 used by the Fleet. The older Mod 0 (with its curved turret), which is gradually being replaced, and the angular Mod 1 (nicknamed Kryten after the robot on the sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf) which is harder for enemy radar to pick up. The main purpose of the gun is Naval Gunfire Support – artillery bombardment of shore targets. In this role the gun is capable of firing the equivalent of a six-gun shore battery. The Mk8 can also be used effectively against surface targets at sea.

  • Harpoon
    Anti-ship missile System

    Harpoon is the long-range lance of the Type 23 frigate, capable of destroying enemy ships far beyond the horizon. Fitted to all Type 23 Frigates, the Boeing (formerly McDonnell Douglas) Harpoon is a sophisticated anti-ship missile capable of striking at targets more than 80 miles away. Harpoon uses a combination of inertial guidance and active radar homing to attack its prey. Cruising at Mach 0.9 and carrying a large high explosive warhead it is powered by a lightweight turbojet, but is accelerated at launch by a booster rocket.

  • Helicopter
    Airbourne weapons System

    The Merlin Mk1 have been in service with the Fleet Air Arm since the late 1990s and, after thorough testing and evaluation, the helicopters have been on the front line since 2000. Our job is to find – and if necessary destroy – enemy submarines using our state-of-the-art sonar bouys which we drop into the ocean and Sting Ray torpedoes. Beyond searching for submarines, we carry out traditional maritime helicopter duties: anti-piracy/drug-running patrols, surveillance and reconnaissance, search and rescue, and passenger and load transfers

  • Sea Wolf
    Surface to Air Missile system
    Sea wolf

    Seawolf is the shield of Britain’s frigate fleet against air attack. Defending Britain's frigate fleet against air attack, the Seawolf missile has been in service for more than 30 years and has proven itself in action in the Falklands. Unlike Sea Viper and Sea Dart, Seawolf is intended to defend an individual ship rather than a task group, engaging aircraft or sea-skimming missiles. It is fired either from a vertical silo on Type 23 frigates, and guided on to its target courtesy of a tracking system on the ship. The original Seawolf had a very limited range of just six miles, but the frigate fleet is in the middle of receiving the latest, more potent version of the missile system. It means that Seawolf can track – and destroy – a target the size of a cricket ball travelling at three times the speed of sound well beyond the limit of the original missile. If the system was placed in the middle of London, it could track its target over the M25 and knock it out of the sky over the North Circular - and the whole action would last under 20 seconds. Each Type 23 frigate carries out at least two Seawolf firings on ranges off the UK coast before each deployment.

  • DLH Decoy Launch System
    active decoy system

    The DLH system is carried by the Navy's frigates and is designed to lure attacking anti-ship missiles away from the unit.

  • Torpedo
    Magazine torpedo launch System (MTLS)

    Dropped by Lynx and Merlin helicopters, and launched from the MTLS, Sting Ray is a small lightweight torpedo designed to destroy enemy submarines. It weighs seven times less than torpedoes fired by submarines, racing through the water at more than 50mph at targets half a dozen miles away, delivering a 100lb explosive charge powerful enough to punch through the double hulls of modern submarines. Once Sting Ray is fired it uses the information provided initially by the helicopter and gathers fresh intelligence on its target using its sonar and onboard software which is designed not to be fooled by the enemy submarine’s decoys.

  • Towed Array
    Sub Surface detection system
    towed array

  • 30mm Gun
    Medium Calibre gun system
    30mm Gun















Top Speed


Range (Nautical)


Launch Date


Commissioned date


Ship's Nickname



HMS Monmouth

The Black Duke



  • The First Monmouth

    There are seven ships of the Fleet named Monmouth which have served the country, beginning with a 17th-Century eight-gun yacht launched in 1666.

  • The Second 'Fearsome' Monmouth

    The second bearer of the name served for 100 years, was rebuilt three times and earned no fewer than ten battle honours. By the time of her fourth incarnation she was a 70-gun third rate with a fearsome reputation – indeed when she was finally broken up in 1767 one newspaper eulogised: “There was no ship she ever chased that she did not overtake: there was no enemy she ever fought that she did not capture.”

  • The Third Monmouth

    The third Monmouth saw extensive action against the French in the Indian Ocean in the 1780s before being turned into the appropriately-named prison ship Captivity in 1796. She was broken up in 1818.

  • The Fourth Monmouth

    Monmouth No.4 was built for the East India Company but was acquired by the Royal Navy during the French Revolutionary War, seeing action at Camperdown and in the Mediterranean.

  • The Fifth Monmouth

    The fifth ship began life as HMS Hotspur, renamed as Monmouth in 1868 and serving as the Roman Catholic chapel in Devonport for more than 30 years. She was sold in 1902.

  • The Sixth Monmouth

    The most recent HMS Monmouth was the ill-fated armoured cruiser built at the turn of the 20th Century. Obsolescent when war came in 1914, she was brought out of reserve and sent to South America to hunt down Admiral von Spee’s roving squadron. She found von Spee, but the German admiral’s superior ships and more-experienced crews dealt the Royal Navy a devastating blow at the Battle of Coronel off Chile in November 1914. Every man aboard Monmouth was lost as the ship went down.

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