HMS Spey is the fifth of and final River-class Batch 2 OPV on order from BAE Systems for the Royal Navy. She was launched in June 2019 2018. All vessels of the Batch 2 (Forth, Medway, Trent, Tamar and Spey) were built by BAE Systems in Glasgow.
HMS Spey is designed for counter-piracy, anti-smuggling, fishery protection, border patrol, counter terrorism and maritime defense duties.
“It is such a privilege to lead Spey’s complement through the coming trials and training program and bring her to operational status. In spite of the considerable disruption caused by the pandemic, the Royal Navy has received the fifth and final offshore patrol vessel and our job now is to prepare ourselves and Spey for whatever operations we are assigned.”
Spey’s first Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Ben Evans
The second-generation River-class program has delivered five warships inside six years, joining the original Rivers (HMS Mersey, Severn and Tyne), with the two most recently constructed benefitting from urea filters which reduce their nitrogen oxide exhaust emissions by 90 per cent. With Spey’s handover the Batch 2 program comes to an end, £44m under its original approved cost of £690m and on time thanks to effective collaboration between the MOD and industry.
About River-class OPV
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 helicopter. Aside from a crew of 40, there’s space for up to 50 troops/Royal Marines (who have their own mess facilities); the flight deck can accommodate Wildcat and Merlin helicopters; there’s a 30mm automated main gun.
- Displacement: 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)