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New River class patrol ship of British Navy formally named HMS Spey

The fifth and final new River Class patrol ship for the Royal British Navy was formally named as work on HMS Spey nears completion on October 3, 2019. The ceremony almost closes the chapter on a seven-year program which will give the Royal Navy a flotilla of brand-new patrol ships ready for deployment around the globe.

New River class patrol ship of British Navy formally named HMS Spey 925 011 HMS Spey British Royal Navy River Class patrol ship (Picture source DE & S)

The next-generation River Class ship, equipped with a 30mm cannon and flight deck capable of accommodating a Merlin helicopter, will boost Britain’s counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling work and provide essential support to defense operations.

HMS SPEY is the last in a class of five vessels that have been built in Glasgow. With construction starting on the first ship in late 2014, these vessels have provided an important opportunity to maintain essential design, construction and systems integration skills, while introducing new processes and technologies that are already being used in the production of the UK’s Type 26 frigates.

The 90-meter vessel is the final of a five-strong OPV (Offshore Patrol Vessel) contract with BAE Systems, worth a combined £635 million.

The River class is a class of offshore patrol vessels built primarily for the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. A total of nine have been planned for the Royal Navy including four Batch 1 and five Batch 2. The Batch 1 ships of the class replaced the seven ships of the Island class and the two Castle-class patrol vessels.