Royal Navy’s newest patrol ship HMS Forth tackles her first week of sea trials in the Solent

A NEW Royal Navy patrol ship has been strutting her stuff around the Solent for the first time flying the White Ensign.

Friday, 29th March 2019, 3:36 pm
Updated Friday, 29th March 2019, 3:41 pm
The new River-class patrol ship HMS Forth and her trials currently taking place off Portsmouth. Photo: PO Lee Blease

HMS Forth has been put through her paces around the Isle of Wight as she tackled the first week of her sea trials.

Forth is the first second-generation River-class patrol ship to be handed over to the Royal Navy. She will one day take over the role as permanent guardship of the Falklands.

And to ready herself for this role, Forth’s crew has been carrying out a number of drills, ranging from practising man overboard, fire-fighting, damage control, and machinery breakdown drills.

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HMS Forth has completed her first week of sea trials off along the south coast. Photo: LPhot Louise George

‘It has been a long road for my ship’s company to get to this point and I am exceptionally proud of every single one of them,’ said Commander Bob Laverty, the patrol ship’s first commanding officer. ‘In many respects now is the beginning of the journey for Forth as we put her through her paces and get to know our ship inside and out.’

Forth is bigger, faster and more capable than her 15-year-old predecessors Tyne, Severn and Mersey.

The aim of the navy is to station the larger batch two vessels permanently around the globe in places like the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Far East, rather than committing them purely to fishery protection duties. 

Over the next few months Forth will be carrying our more trails along the south coast before heading to Scotland where her front-line training will begin.

Her trials take place just days after HMS Tamar, the fourth ship in the batch, was formally named on the Clyde.

Ship number to, HMS Medway has been handed over to the Royal Navy while the third in the line, HMS Trent is gearing up for her maiden sea trials, with the final ship in class, HMS Spey, rapidly taking shape at Govan.

All five ships are due to be in the Navy’s hands by the end of next year.