IT is 28 years since HMS Montrose was launched in to the Clyde from the then Yarrows shipyard at Scotstoun.

But the Type 23 frigate - one of 13 still serving in the Royal Navy - is far from obsolete.

Newly refitted, the Scottish-built sand Scottish-named warship is now spearheading Britain’s defence of shipping in the Gulf of Persia.

Since April, HMS Montrose has been stationed at the Royal Navy’s new support facility in Bahrain, the island nation that was once a UK protectorate and which sits precariously between regional powers like Iran and Saudi Arabia.

It took the Montrose six months to make the 47,000-mile journey to Bahrain - which included dramatic detours to Chile and Japan.

Her trip - the “wrong way round” to the Gulf via the Pacific - involved monitoring plastics in the world’s biggest ocean and visiting some of the planet’s most remote communities, including Pitcairn, the last resting place of the Bounty, and Chile’s Easter Island.

It also policed fuel smuggling and sanction busting off the coast of North Korea.

The ship will stay in the Gulf until at least 2022 - rather than the usual shorter deployments. The Bahrain base means the navy will not waste months of time at sea by moving ships to the Middle East from the UK