The Royal Navy (RN) has officially named second of its five new River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) as HMS Medway during a ceremony at BAE Systems’ site at Scotstoun, Glasgow on Oct. 20.
The ship was named after the River Medway in Kent. The naming was done by Wendy Fallon, the ship’s sponsor and wife of U.K. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.
In keeping with the Navy tradition, Ms. Fallon pressed the button that released a bottle of Dockyard Gin from the Copper Rivet Distillery in Chatham, Kent, against the ship’s hull.
“This year we have already named our second aircraft carrier, two Type 26 frigates and the first in the Offshore Patrol Vessel class. It is a privilege to see yet another ship named for the growing Royal Navy. Named after Kent’s main river, my family has taken a particular interest in HMS Medway over the course of its construction and this is a proud day for all involved”, Michael Fallon said.
“From counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling to securing the UK’s borders, HMS Medway will help keep Britain safe”, he added.
HMS Medway will shortly embark on sea trials where she will be put through her paces in the open waters off the coast of Scotland.
HMS Medway (P223)
HMS Medway (P223) OPV is based on the Amazonas-class corvette built by BAE Systems for the Brazilian Navy and includes some 29 modifications and enhancements over it. The Amazonas-class corvette is based on the Royal Navy’s Batch 1 River-class OPV.
The vessel has a length of 90 m, a top speed of 24 knots (44 km/h) and displaces around 2,000 tonnes.
Medway is armed it one 30 mm cannon, two Minigun and two General purpose machine guns (GPMG).
The class is also fitted with the Kelvin Hughes SharpEye integrated radar system for navigation, the Terma Scanter 4100 2D radar for air and surface surveillance, and a BAE CMS-1 Combat Management System.
The vessel has a AW101 Merlin-capable flight deck but no fight hanger.
According to BAE Systems, the vessels are designed to deploy globally, conducting anti-piracy, counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling tasks currently conducted by frigates and destroyers.
Steel was cut, marking the start of construction of Medway on 8 June 2015 at BAE Systems Govan shipyard in Glasgow.
Rather than being launched in the traditional manner, Medway was rolled onto a semi-submersible barge and lowered into the water on 23 August 2017.
With a crew of 58 HMS Medway is expected to enter service with the Royal Navy in 2019.