First of navy’s new vessels is named

The new commanding officer of HMS Collingwood, Captain Rob Vitali. Picture: Keith Woodland/MoD

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The first of the Royal Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessels has been formally named in Scotland.

The 90-metre warship, which will be tasked with vital counter-terrorism, anti-smuggling and maritime defence duties, was named HMS Forth in honour of the Scottish river in a ceremony at the BAE Systems Scotstoun shipyard.

The ship will soon depart on sea trials before entering service with the Royal Navy in 2018. She is the first of a fleet of five new Batch 2 River-class OPVs being built on the Clyde which are all expected to be in service by 2021.

HMS Forth was named by the Lady Sponsor Rachel Johnstone-Burt who, in tribute to Scottish shipbuilding and in keeping with naval tradition, broke a bottle of whisky on the bow yesterday.

Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin, said: ‘From counter-narcotics 
operations in the Caribbean, to securing the UK’s borders on patrols closer to home, the Royal Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessels 
will help protect our interests around the world.’