A NEW warship is today being welcomed into the Royal Navy’s expanding fleet in Portsmouth.
HMS Forth, the first of the Senior Service’s next-generation of offshore patrol ships will be formally commissioned into the fleet today in Portsmouth.
She is one of five state-of- the-art vessels, designed for counter-piracy, anti-smuggling, fishery protection, border patrol, counter terrorism and maritime defence duties.
Classified as batch two River-class offshore patrol vessels (OPV) HMS Forth and her sisters – HMS Trent, Medway, Tamar and Spey - are a significant upgrade on HMS Tyne, Severn, Mersey and Clyde.
They will become the Royal Navy’s eyes and ears around the UK, helping to safeguard fishing stocks, reassure and protect the Falkland Islands and are capable of deploying to the Mediterranean and Caribbean to safeguard the UK’s interests around the world.
The UK’s commitment to equipping the Royal Navy with a fleet of modern OPVs is part of the government’s ten-year, £178bn equipment plan to provide the armed forces with the kit it needs.
The new ships are equipped with a 30mm cannon and a flight deck capable of receivinga Merlin helicopter.
HMS Medway, HMS Trent and HMS Tamar are expected to enter service in 2019, while HMS Spey is expected to enter service in 2020.