HMS Spey Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel has formally joined British Navy

According to information released by the British Navy on January 8, 2021, HMS Spey Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) has formally joined the British Royal Navy. She was delivered to Portsmouth Naval Base in October from BAE Systems’ shipyards on the Clyde for the final stages of construction before Spey’s crew took custody of January 7, 2020, afternoon.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 HMS Spey alongside in Portsmouth Naval Base as a British Royal Navy warship for the first time. (Picture source British Navy)

The HMS Spey will need to complete a series of safety and readiness checks, successfully complete about a month of Operational Sea Training later this year and then she can be formally commissioned into the Fleet like her sisters HMS Tamar and Trent did during 2020.

They are both on operations in UK waters, Trent having returned from her second deployment to the Mediterranean. The first two Batch 2 River Class, HMS Forth and Medway are deployed to the South and North Atlantic respectively.

The second-generation River-class program has delivered five warships inside six years, joining the original Rivers (HMS Mersey, Severn and Tyne), with the two most recently constructed benefitting from urea filters which reduce their nitrogen oxide exhaust emissions by 90 percent.

In November 2013, the British Navy had signed an Agreement in Principle to build three new offshore patrol vessels, based on the River-class design, at a fixed price of £348 million including spares and support. In August 2014, BAE Systems signed the contract to build the ships on the Clyde in Scotland. 

The HMS Spey is a Batch II River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) designed and built by BAE Systems Naval Ships. Equipped with a Flight deck large enough for a MERLIN helicopter, the Batch 2 OPV has an advanced aviation capability for an OPV.  She was formally named on 3 October 2019. She began contractor sea trials in September 2020, and after they were completed, left the Clyde on October 28, 2020, for the delivery voyage to Portsmouth. 

The HMS Spey is powered by two MAN 16V28/33D diesel engines rated at 14,700kW/19,700HP, which drive twin controllable pitch propellers. The ship can reach a top speed of 25 kn (46 km/h) with a cruising range of 5,500 nmi (10,200 km). She has an endurance of 35 days.

The HMS Spey has a length of 90.5 m, a beam of 13.5 m, and a displacement of 2,000 tons. She is armed with one Bushmaster 30 mm automatic cannon, two Miniguns  7.62×51mm NATO six-barrel rotary machine gun, and two General purpose 7.62mm machine guns. The vessel carries two Pacific 22 Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB). She has a crew of 58 sailors and can accommodate 50 troops. 

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