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United Kingdom - Royal Navy
River class Offshore Patrol Vessel
 
 river class offshore patrol vessel opv hms tyne severn mersey clyde forth medway trent royal navy
 
02/21 
Ships:
Batch 1:
P 281 HMS Tyne (2003)
P 282 HMS Severn (2003)
P 283 HMS Mersey (2003)
  
P 257 HMS Clyde (2007)
 
Batch 2:
P 222 HMS Forth (2018)
P 223
HMS Medway (2019)
P 224
HMS Trent (2020)
P 233 HMS Tamar (2020)
P 234 HMS Spey (2021)
 
Specifications:
 
Batch 1:

Tyne, Severn & Mersey
  
Length: 79,5 meters (260 feet 10 inches)
Beam: 13,5 meters (44 ft 3 in)
Draft: 3,8 meters (12 ft 6 in)
Displacement: 1700 tons
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h)
Range: 5500 NM (10200 km)
Complement: 30
 
Propulsion:
2 x Ruston 12RK270 diesel engines (5532 hp)
2 shafts / 2 controllable-pitch propellers
 
Armament:
1 x Oerlikon 20mm gun
  
Aviation:
platform for VERTREP aft only
 
 
HMS Clyde:

 Length: 81,5 meters (267 ft 5 in)
Beam: 13,5 meters (44 ft 3 in)
Draft: 3,8 meters (12 ft 6 in)
Displacement: 2000 tons
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h)
Range: 5500 NM (10200 km)
Complement: 36
(capable of temporarily embarking up to 110 troops)

 
Propulsion:
2 x Ruston 12RK270 diesel engines (5532 hp)
2 shafts / 2 controllable-pitch propellers
 
Armament:
1 x DS30M 30mm gun
2 x M134 Miniguns
  
Aviation:
Merlin capable flight deck - no hangar
 
 
Batch 2:

Forth, Medway, Trent, Tamar, Spey
 
Length: 90,5 meters (296 ft 11 in)
Beam: 13 meters (42 ft 8 in)
Draft: 3,8 meters (12 ft 6 in)
Displacement: 2000 tons
Speed: 25 knots (46 km/h)
Range: 5500 NM (10200 km)
Complement: 34
 
Propulsion:
2 x MAN 16V28/33D diesel engines (14700 kW (10950 hp)
2 shafts / 2 controllable-pitch propellers
 
Armament:
1 x DS30M 30mm gun
2 x M134 Miniguns
 
Aviation:
Merlin capable flight deck - no hangar
 
 
Batch 1:

Tyne, Severn and Mersey:
In early 2001, the Ministry of Defence placed an order with Vosper Thornycroft (VT) for three River-class offshore patrol vessels to replace the Island class. It was understood that the higher availability rates of the River class (up to 300 days per year), would enable the three new ships to perform the duties of the five ships they replaced. The Royal Navy initially chartered (or leased) the ships under a five-year, £60 million contract from the builder VT. As part of the contract, VT would be responsible for all maintenance and support during the charter period. This contract was renewed in January 2007 for another five years at £52 million. However, in September 2012, instead of renewing the contract again, it was announced by the then Defence Secretary Philip Hammond that the Ministry of Defence had purchased the vessels for £39 million.

The River class are significantly larger than the Island-class vessels and have a large open deck aft allowing them to be fitted with equipment for a specific role, which can include fire-fighting, disaster relief and anti-pollution work. For this purpose, a 25 tonne capacity crane is fitted. In addition, the deck is strong enough for the transport of various tracked and wheeled light vehicles, or an LCVP. The class are primarily used with the Fishery Protection Squadron and EEZ patrol.

Clyde:
In February 2005, the Ministry of Defence placed an order with VT for the charter of a fourth modified River-class offshore patrol vessel. This fourth ship, Clyde, was constructed at Portsmouth Dockyard and replaced the two Castle-class patrol vessels for duties around the South Atlantic and the Falkland Islands. To fulfill this role, Clyde incorporates several modifications, including an extended length 81.5 m (267 ft 5 in) hull, a top speed of 21 kn (39 km/h), a 30 mm cannon, two miniguns and mountings for five general purpose machine guns. Clyde's elongated hull permits a 20-metre strengthened flight deck able to accommodate a Merlin-sized helicopter. The ship has a full load displacement between 1,850 and 2,000 tonnes.

Clyde is capable of temporarily embarking up to 110 troops and their equipment and inserting them anywhere on the Falkland Islands. Clyde has a complement of 36.

Future:
On 24 April 2017, in a written answer to a question raised by Sir Nicholas Soames, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Defence Harriet Baldwin stated Severn would be decommissioned in 2017, with Mersey and Clyde following in 2019.

Severn was decommissioned in a ceremony at Portsmouth on 27 October 2017, with Tyne due to follow in May 2018, however, the latter underwent reactivation due to defects with Forth.

In March 2018, Baldwin's successor as Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Defence, Guto Bebb, revealed that £12.7M had been allocated from the EU Exit Preparedness Fund to maintain the three Batch 1 ships, should they be needed to control and enforce UK waters and fisheries following the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union.

On 22 November 2018, Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, formally announced that the first three Batch 1 River Class ships would be retained in service. Clyde, unlike the other three, is not owned directly by the Royal Navy but is instead on lease. Once the ship is replaced by HMS Forth in the Falklands, it is planned that the Brazilian Navy will take over the lease of Clyde.

Batch 2:

Forth, Medway, Trent:
On 6 November 2013 it was announced that the British Government had signed an Agreement in Principle to build three new offshore patrol vessels, based on the River-class design, at a fixed price of £348 million including spares and support for the Royal Navy. In August 2014, BAE Systems signed the contract to build the ships at their BAE Systems Maritime - Naval Ships shipyards in Glasgow on the River Clyde. The Ministry of Defence stated that the Batch 2 ships are capable of being used for constabulary duties such as "counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and anti-smuggling operations". According to BAE Systems, the vessels are designed to deploy globally, conducting anti-piracy, counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling tasks currently conducted by frigates and destroyers. Steel was cut on 10 October 2014 and they are expected to enter service starting 2017, with the last being delivered by the end of 2018. The ships are built at the BAE Systems Govan shipyard, then transferred to the BAE Systems Scotstoun shipyard for fitting out.

The Batch 2 ships are fundamentally different in appearance and capabilities from the preceding Batch 1. Notable differences include the 90.5 metres (296 ft 11 in) long hull, a top speed of 24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph), Merlin-capable flight deck, a displacement of around 2,000 tonnes and greatly expanded capacity for accommodating troops. The Batch 2 ships also have a different (full width) superstructure, and a fundamentally different above-water hullform shape (greater bow flare, different & less-pronounced forward knuckle line compared to the Batch 1 ships, lack of the distinctive fwd & aft bulwarks of the Batch 1 vessels). The class is also fitted with the Kelvin Hughes SharpEye integrated radar system for navigation, the Terma Scanter 4100 2D radar for air and surface surveillance, and a BAE CMS-1 Combat Management System. The Batch 2 ships therefore arguably represent a distinctly separate class to the preceding Batch 1.

Batch 2 are also the first Royal Navy ships fitted with the BAE Systems Shared Infrastructure operating system. BAE describes Shared Infrastructure as "a state-of-the-art system that will revolutionise the way ships operate by using virtual technologies to host and integrate the sensors, weapons and management systems that complex warships require. Replacing multiple large consoles dedicated to specific tasks with a single hardware solution reduces a number of spares required to be carried onboard and will significantly decrease through-life costs."

The class has been criticised in Parliamentary evidence for: lacking a helicopter hangar (even a telescopic hangar), something that will limit utility of the helicopter deck by preventing embarkation of a helicopter for anything other than very short periods; lacking a medium calibre gun (such as 76 mm); and poor value for money. It is argued that because of the lacking features (which could have been incorporated for the price) the vessels will not be as capable in the ocean-going patrol capacity as claimed. Indeed a critique of the class is that the reasoning behind their commissioning was simply to ensure that public money continued to support BAE dockyards and jobs prior to the ordering of the Type 26 warship.

The Batch 2 ships for the Royal Navy include some 29 modifications and enhancements over the Amazonas-class corvette built by BAE Systems for the Brazilian Navy. The Royal Navy ships are built to more stringent naval standards, with features such as magazine protection, improved hull integrity and fire safety modifications, as well as greater redundancy.

The first, HMS Forth, was christened at a ceremony at the BAE Systems Scotstoun shipyard in Glasgow on 9 March 2017. Forth replaced HMS Clyde as the Falkland Islands guardship in December 2019.

All Batch 2 ships will fulfil Forward Presence tasks, permanently stationed overseas with rotating crews, releasing the Type 23 frigates which previously filled the roles for other duties. HMS Medway was commissioned in September 2019 and in January 2020 deployed as the long-term Atlantic Patrol Task (North) ship in the Caribbean.

HMS Trent was commissioned in August 2020 and immediately deployed to the Mediterranean on anti-people smuggling tasks.

Tamar and Spey:
The Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 announced a further purchase of two more Batch 2 ships at an undisclosed date in the future. Expectations at the time were that this would encompass the three Batch 2 ships announced in 2013, the two additional Batch 2 ships announced in the 2015 defence review, and the modified Batch 1 ship, Clyde. The three Batch 1 ships without flight decks would be withdrawn in favour of the newer ships. The defence review suggested that the ships could be used to increase the Royal Navy's ability to defend UK interests at home and abroad.

During a Defence Select Committee in July 2016, the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones indicated that the option for a fleet of "up to six" offshore patrol vessels had been reduced to five, with Clyde being replaced by HMS Forth, a new Batch 2 ship. The First Sea Lord also elaborated on the potential uses for the Batch 2 ships overseas, including the possibility of basing an extra ship at the Falklands Islands, or forward basing it elsewhere.

A £287m order for the two new ships, and support for all five Batch 2 ships, was announced on 8 December 2016. HM Ships Tamar and Spey will join the fleet in 2020 and 2021 respectively, both fulfilling overseas Forward Presence roles and releasing Type 23 frigates for roles more suited to a higher-capability warship.

On 21 April 2017, with construction of HMS Tamar already under way, the first steel was cut for HMS Spey. Like their predecessors, the ships were constructed at the BAE Systems Govan shipyard, then transferred to the Scotstoun shipyard for fitting out.

Tamar arrived at her home port of Portsmouth for the first time on 2 April 2020, joining her sister ship HMS Trent. She will spend the rest of the year training before commissioning and deploying. HMS Spey began contractor sea trials in September 2020, arriving in her home port of Portsmouth for the first time on 30th October 2020. HMS Spey was commissioned into the Royal Navy in Portsmouth on 7 January 2021.

source: wikipedia
 
class + detail images
for more images go to the individual ship's page

hms tyne p 281 river class offshore patrol vessel royal navy
HMS Tyne (P 281)

hms severn p 282 river class offshore patrol vessel royal navy
HMS Severn (P 282)

hms mersey p 283 river class offshore patrol vessel royal navy
HMS Mersey (P 283)


hms clyde p 257 river class offshore patrol vessel royal navy
HMS Clyde (P 257)


hms forth p 222 river class offshore patrol vessel royal navy
HMS Forth (P 222)

hms medway p 223 river class offshore patrol vessel royal navy
HMS Medway (P 223)

hms trent p-224 river class offshore patrol vessel royal navy
HMS Trent (P 224)

hms tamar p-233 river class offshore patrol vessel royal navy
HMS Tamar (P 233)

hms spey p-234 river class offshore patrol vessel royal navy
HMS Spey (P 234)
 
 
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