HMS Tamar is the fourth of five River-class Batch 2 OPV on order for the Royal Navy. She was launched in October 2018.
Over the past few weeks the ship has been operating around Plymouth Sound and the South West sea training areas, carrying out her acceptance trials and a series of firsts for the ship and her crew. These has included the first helicopter landing – a Wildcat from Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, her first gunnery exercises, as well as boat drills and emergency exercises, that has put the crew through their paces.
HMS Tamar also has the distinction for being the ‘Greenest Ship in the Royal Navy’ – fitted with ‘catalytic converters’ which reduce nitrogen-based emissions from her engine exhausts by up to 95 per cent. She weighs in at 2,000 tonnes, has a 6,000 mile range and a flight deck capable of carrying a Merlin helicopter. She also has accommodation for up to 50 Royal Marines Commandos and is considered by her crew as the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of Royal Navy vessels.
The River class is a class of offshore patrol vessels seperatad in two batches built by VT group for the first batch and BAE systems for the second one. Nine of this class were built for the Royal Navy. Six are currently in active service. One has been decommissionned in 2019, another is conducting sea trials and the last one is being armed. Export variants based on the River-class include the Amazonas-class corvette of the Brazilian Navy nad the Krabi-class OPV of the Royal Thai Navy.
Royal Navy Offshore Patrol Vessels conduct fishery protection duties; coast protection and surveillance.
Batch 2 vessels own higher projection capacities because of their armament and is able to carry a Merlin helicopter.
- Displacment: 1700 tonnes (batch 1); 2000 tonnes (batch 2)
- Length: 79.5 m (batch 1); 90.5 m (batch 2)
- Beam: 13.5m
- Propulsion: 2 × Ruston 12R270 diesel engines (batch 1); 2 × MAN 16V28/33D diesel engines (batch 2); 2 shafts and 2 × controllable-pitch propellers for both batches
- Speed: 20 knots (batch 1); 24 knots (batch 2)
- Range: 5 500 nautical miles
- Crew: 30 (batch 1): 58 (batch 2)
- Weapons: 1 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannon; 2 × General purpose machine guns (batch 1); 1 × Bushmaster 30 mm cannon; 2 × Miniguns; 2 × General purpose machine guns (batch 2)