HMS Spey (P234), the last of five Batch 2 River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) being procured for the Royal Navy has been formally named on the Clyde on Oct. 3.
The next-generation OPV, equipped with a 30mm cannon and flight deck capable of accommodating an AW101 Merlin helicopter, will boost Britain’s counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling work and provide essential support to defence operations.
Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Our Offshore Patrol Vessels play a pivotal role in patrolling our coastline, protecting our domestic waters and supporting maritime interests from anti-smuggling to fisheries protection. The naming of HMS Spey is an exciting milestone for the OPV programme, demonstrating our commitment to UK shipyards while bolstering the Royal Navy’s capabilities.”
At Scotstoun today, the ship was officially named HMS Spey by her lady sponsor, Lady Alison Johnstone. The centuries old tradition believed to bestow luck, saw a bottle of Speyside Distillery whisky being smashed against her hull.
The 90-metre vessel is the final of a five-strong OPV contract with BAE Systems, worth a combined £635 million. Initially constructed in BAE System’s Govan yard, all of the five OPVs were then moved to the company’s Scotstoun site to be fitted out with their systems ahead of a series of sea trials aimed at testing their capabilities.
All the five Batch 2 River-class OPVs – HMS Forth (P222), HMS Medway (P223), HMS Trent (P224), HMS Tamar (P233) and HMS Spey (P234) – are set to be delivered to the Royal Navy by the end of 2021.