Royal Navy’s Newest Patrol Ship HMS Spey Begins Contractor Sea Trials

 In E3, Europe, UK, Sea, Forces & Capabilities

The UK Royal Navy’s newest patrol ship HMS Spey (P234) has sailed from BAE Systems’ yard at Scotstoun on the Clyde to begin Contractor Sea Trials this week.

A mix of Royal Navy sailors, BAE employ­ees, con­trac­tors, inspec­tions author­i­ties and civil­ian sailors are crew­ing the 2,000-tonne war­ship for the key tests and assess­ments off the west coast of Scotland.

The sea trials are a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone in Spey’s short life to date and are designed to thor­ough­ly test the capa­bil­i­ty and integri­ty of the vessel. Her sys­tems will be tested to the max and will include live firing of her weapon­ry (includ­ing her main 30mm gun), push­ing the ship’s engines to their full power and test­ing her top speeds before the ship returns to Scotstoun.

The vessel’s maiden voyage comes just weeks after the first sailors of her ship’s company moved on board and ahead of her jour­ney to Portsmouth later this year when she will offi­cial­ly join the Royal Navy fleet. Spey is sched­uled to com­plete her trials and train­ing next year.

HMS Spey is last of five new Batch II River-class off­shore patrol ves­sels (OPVs) and will join her older sis­ters HMS Forth (P222), HMS Medway (P223), HMS Tamar (P233) and HMS Trent (P224), all of which are now oper­a­tional.

The second batch of River-class OPVs are part of the Royal Navy’s for­ward pres­ence pro­gramme which will see ships for­ward deployed on oper­a­tions around the globe. It will see the ships remain on task while mem­bers of the ship’s com­pa­ny work on a rota­tion basis, giving them time to take leave, com­plete pro­mo­tion cours­es and under­take train­ing.

The new OPVs pro­vide enough space for a flight deck and accom­mo­da­tion for 50 embarked Royal Marines. The flight deck is large enough to sup­port the Fleet Air Arm’s Wildcat and Merlin heli­copters.

DefPost source|articles

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