The British Royal Navy's Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) HMS Forth has commenced its first sea trials on the River Clyde. HMS Forth is the first of five new patrol ships of the same class being built to assist the navy in safeguarding fishing stocks, as well as protecting the Falkland Islands and their inhabitants.
The Royal Navy ship will also be deployed to the Mediterranean and Caribbean if required. The new River-class patrol ship and its four sister vessels are expected to be 4k faster than their predecessors, and will be able to almost 60 crew members.
HMS Forth will be equipped with a 30mm main gun, two Mini-guns, four machine-guns and two Pacific 24 sea boats.
Each of the five River-class vessels will feature a flight deck and will provide accommodation for up to 50 troops or Royal Marines in order to support operations on-shore when necessary.
HMS Forth navigator lieutenant Tom Sleight said: “The design provides a lot more operational flexibility with the large flight deck and space for the embarked force.
“These ships will be able to conduct all of the fishery protection and domestic security duties currently undertaken by the squadron, but will now also provide a far more capable platform for deploying overseas such as when Mersey provided support to migrant operations in the Mediterranean or Severn, and Mersey on Atlantic Patrol North.
“They are going to be extremely capable ships when compared with their predecessors.”
The Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessels will be named Forth, Trent, Medway, Tamar and Spey, and have been designed to replace the Batch 1 ships Tyne, Severn, Mersey and Clyde, which were built 15 years ago. The second ship, Medway, is currently undergoing a fit-out at Scotstoun.