Vessel to be commissioned in 2022; three others may follow
Spey embarks on delivery voyage
The fifth and final Batch 2 River-class OPV for the UK RN is en route to Portsmouth Naval Base, after leaving the BAE Systems shipyard in Glasgow on 28 October.
This delivery voyage of HMS Spey follows the successful completion of sea trials and marks the completion of the Batch 2 OPV programme build phase, BAE Systems noted in a press release.
On arrival in Portsmouth, Spey will be officially handed over to the RN.
Mike Macfarlane, OPV delivery director for BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: ‘Working collaboratively with the Royal Navy, the UK Ministry of Defence and our suppliers, we have successfully overcome this year’s COVID-19 challenges to deliver this strategically important programme.’
The initial £348 million ($451.78 million) contract for the first three OPVs was signed in August 2014, and was followed in December 2016 by a £287 million contract for an additional two OPVs and support for all five ships: Forth, Medway, Spey, Tamar and Trent.
Each of these OPVs displace 2,000t, measure 90.5m in length, and have a beam of 13m. They also have a top speed of 24kt with a range of 5,500nm and crew of 58, Shephard Defence Insight notes.
Mark Beverstock, head of the OPV and Type 26 delivery teams at MoD Defence Equipment & Support, said: “As well as delivering five ships to the Royal Navy, the OPV programme has played a crucial role in ensuring shipbuilding capability for the future while focusing on continuous improvement.‘
The Batch 2 programme featured investment in new technologies and processes intended to enhance RN capabilities. These technologies include a urea filter which reduces nitrogen oxide emissions from the diesel generators by about 90%.
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