Royal Navy vessel HMS Spey arrives in Portsmouth for the first time
A NEW naval vessel has entered Portsmouth for the very first time.
HMS Spey, a River Class patrol vessel, sailed into the city this morning following a round of sea trials, which commenced in November.
Built at Clyde by BAE Systems, she will be based in Portsmouth and is the final puzzle piece for the latest batch of five OPVs.
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Her first commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Ben Evans, said: ‘This is a fantastic day for my ship’s company, our friends and families, affiliates and everyone involved in the batch two offshore patrol vessel build project.
‘We now embark on an intense period of training to prepare us for operations in the newest and greenest ship the Royal Navy.
‘My team are ready and excited about the journey ahead of us and we are all immensely proud to serve in the eighth ship to bear the name Spey.’
HMS Spey is due to enter active duty in the summer of 2021, carrying out general patrol duties, anti-smuggling taskings and humanitarian relief.
Her sister vessels have already been busy around the globe, with HMS Medway on patrol in the Caribbean, HMS Forth in the Falkland Islands and HMS Trent having deployed to the Mediterranean. The fifth is HMS Tamar.
At its peak, the OPV programme has protected around 1,400 jobs within BAE Systems and delivered a supply chain spend of almost £240m to more than 150 suppliers across the UK and Europe.
Steve Timms, managing director of BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: ‘The five River Class OPVs have been hugely important for our business, working in collaboration with the UK Ministry of Defence, the Royal Navy and our suppliers.
‘Today’s milestone brings with it an immense sense of pride for us all in delivering this strategically important programme, marking the end of the build phase of the OPV build programme.
‘The acceptance of HMS Spey serves as a great reminder of the importance of what we do, and the capability and skills of our employees who worked side by side with the Royal Navy and our partners to deliver these important ships to the Royal Navy.’