MOD signs £287m contract to build two more Offshore Patrol Vehicles in the UK.
The contract with BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships boosts the UK’s fleet of next generation River class OPVs from three to five ships. These five ships will begin to enter service in 2018, in support of the Royal Navy’s mission to protect national interests at home and around the world.
The work enabled by the £287m contract will include the building of HMS Tamar and HMS Spey as well as support for all five of the new ships.
Work on the five new vessels is sustaining 800 jobs at shipyards on the Clyde through contracted work and by guaranteeing the crucial manufacturing skills needed to build the Navy’s future Type 26 Frigates. The OPV programme sustains around 800 Scottish shipbuilding jobs on the Clyde with additional jobs sustained at more than 100 companies in the UK supply chain.
HMS Tamar and HMS Spey will be manufactured at the Govan shipyard before being floated to Scotstoun to be fitted out. They are expected to be delivered in 2019.
Like the other vessels of its class, HMS Tamar and HMS Spey will carry out counter-terrorism, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling and maritime defence operations, and are expected to be equipped with a 30mm cannon and a flight deck capable of receiving a Merlin helicopter.
Displacing around 2,000 tonnes, they will have a maximum speed of 24 knots and will be able to sail 5,500 nautical miles before having to resupply.
BAE Systems is currently exploring a number of export opportunities with international customers for OPV. The Brazilian Navy operates three Amazonas Class corvettes which are based on the design of the River Class OPV and were built at BAE Systems’ facilities in the UK.