CONSTRUCTION of the Royal Navy’s new patrol vessels has begun with the first steel being cut for the ships.
BAE Systems shipbuilders in Glasgow have started work on the three vessels, which it is hoped will be based in Portsmouth.
The first of the Offshore Patrol Vessels will be named HMS Forth, with the others called Medway and Trent.
The 90m ships are based on a previous BAE design, currently in use by the Brazilian and Thai navies but altered to the navy’s needs.
Mick Ord, the managing director of BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: ‘This is a significant day for our business and the UK shipbuilding industry, as we begin construction on a new class of warship for the navy.’
As reported in The News, BAE closed its shipbuilding operations in Portsmouth more than a year ago.
City leaders had called on it to build at least one of the new patrol ships in Portsmouth, to keep shipbuilders in work until a replacement for the defence giant could be found – but the calls were rejected.