Royal Navy's newest hi-tech patrol HMS Spey sets sail for Portsmouth
THE fifth and final of Britain’s next generation of hi-tech patrol ships has begun its journey from Scotland to Portsmouth.
HMS Spey departed from Fife this morning having spent the last few weeks carrying out sea trials off the Scottish coast.
The 2,000-tonne warship is expected to arrive in Portsmouth on Friday morning as part of her maiden voyage to her new home port.
Built by defence giant BAE Systems, the vessel has been touted as the ‘best in class’ and one of the most ‘environmentally-friendly’ warships ever built for the Royal Navy.
The ship utilises a urea filter which slashes nitrogen oxide emissions from the ship’s diesel generators by 90 per cent.
Mike Macfarlane, offshore patrol vessel (OPV) delivery director, BAE Systems naval ships, said: ‘We are immensely proud of our role in delivering these ships to the Royal Navy and this is a landmark moment for the River-class batch two OPV programme, which showcases the skills and expertise we have here on the Clyde.
‘As the final OPV to leave the Clyde, we will be sad to see HMS Spey go, but wish her, her commanding officer and crew all the best in their new home with the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.’
HMS Spey is last of five new River-class ships and will join her older sisters HMS Forth, Medway, Tamar and Trent, all of which are now operational.
The vessel is larger and more heavily armed than the previous batch one River-class patrol ships.
She can hit speeds of more than 20 knots and has a range of 5,500 nautical miles.
Capable of carrying a crew of up to 60 people, the new batch of patrol ships also have accommodation for up to 50 Royal Marines Commandos.
The project to build the five vessels supported 1,400 jobs.
The patrol ships will be forward-deployed across the globe to carry out missions ranging from maritime security, counter terrorism and counter narcotic.