Work has officially begun in Scotland on HMS Spey, the fifth ship in a fleet of new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) being built for the Royal Navy.
Like four other ships HMS Forth, HMS Medway, HMS Trent and HMS Tamar, which are all either under construction or preparing for sea trials, HMS Spey will be built at Govan before the ship is transferred to the Scotstoun yard, where the ship will be fitted out for operations.
Minister for Defence Procurement, Harriett Baldwin, said, “The on-going successful delivery of these ships is a key element of the Government’s ten-year, £178 billion equipment plan to provide the UK’s armed forces with the kit they deserve.”
HMS Spey, which will be 90 metres long and displace around 2,000 tonnes, is one of two ships being built under a £287 million agreement signed between the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and BAE Systems in December 2016. The ship is due to be delivered to the Royal Navy in 2019 and enter service by 2021.
The ship is expected to carry a 30mm cannon and a flight deck capable of receiving a Merlin helicopter, in support of counter-terrorism, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling and maritime defence operations.
Batch 2 Offshore Patrol Vessels have a maximum speed of 24 knots and can sail 5,500 nautical miles before having to resupply.