WATCH: Work starts on new Royal Navy ship

HMS Queen Elizabeth (top) and USS George HW Bush

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Work has begun on a new ship for the Royal Navy.

HMS Spey is the fifth in a fleet of new Offshore Patrol Vessels.

Commodore Peter Coulson talking to workers at Govan shipyard, where the first sheet of steel was cut for HMS Spey

Commodore Peter Coulson talking to workers at Govan shipyard, where the first sheet of steel was cut for HMS Spey

Tony Douglas, Chief Executive Officer for Defence Equipment and Support, the UK’s Defence procurement organisation, pressed the button to cut the first sheet of steel for the HMS Spey at BAE Systems’ Govan shipyard on the Clyde.

Like her four sister ships HMS Forth, HMS Medway, HMS Trent and HMS Tamar, which are all either under construction or preparing for sea trials, HMS Spey will be built at Govan before she is transferred to the Scotstoun yard, where she will be fitted out for operations.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin, said: ‘The start of work on HMS Spey, the fifth Offshore Patrol Vessel, is another milestone in a significant programme of work which is sustaining hundreds of jobs in Scotland and the vital shipbuilding skills needed to build the Royal Navy’s new Type 26 Frigates.’

HMS Spey, which will be 90 metres long and displace around 2,000 tonnes, is one of two ships being built under a £287 million agreement signed between the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems in December 2016. She is due to be delivered to the Royal Navy in 2019 and enter service by 2021, in support of counter-terrorism, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling and maritime defence operations.