HARPOON MISSILE OBLITERATES TARGET IN SUCCESSFUL HIGH SEAS FIRING

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Royal Navy warship HMS Montrose fires a Harpoon anti-ship missile off the coast of Scotland. Photo: Crown Copyright
Royal Navy warship HMS Montrose fires a Harpoon anti-ship missile off the coast of Scotland. Photo: Crown Copyright
Royal Navy warship HMS Montrose fires a Harpoon anti-ship missile off the coast of Scotland. Photo: Crown Copyright

The Royal Navy conducted a test firing of Harpoon anti-ship missile from HMS Montrose at the Scottish exercise areas in the Northern sea. HMS Montrose, a Duke Class Type 23 frigate is based at Devonport Naval Base, fired the Harpoon missile during a specialist training week following her participation in Exercise Joint Warrior – a multinational exercise off the coast of Scotland. One of the aims of the firing was to put into practice some of HMS Montrose’s pre-deployment training, prior to a seven-month deployment overseas this summer.

Although this class of frigate was designed primarily for the anti-submarine warfare role, Montrose is now designated as a “general purpose frigate” and is fitted with a broad suite of the latest sonar, radar and communications systems. HMS Montrose carries a Lynx helicopter and Sting Ray torpedo. Air defence is provided by a Vertical Launch Sea Wolf weapon system. Surface armaments include the Harpoon missile and the 4.5inch gun for naval fire support.

The missile is around 15ft long, about 1ft diameter and is launched from Type 23 frigates. A booster rocket helps launch the Harpoon before the turbojet then powers it along at Mach .9 – just under the speed of sound. Commanding Officer of HMS Montrose, Commander James Parkin, said: “Of all the times I have said ‘command approved’ in my career so far, it was this one that I enjoyed the most. A successful firing of our Harpoon missiles has proven that my professional team of highly trained sailors are at the top of their game, and that we are ready for any tasking that we are given.”