Sea vessels

HMS Spey To Arrive In Portsmouth For First Time This Month

Once in Portsmouth, the 2,000-tonne patrol ship will undergo further tests and trials before being commissioned into the Royal Navy.

The fifth and final next-generation UK patrol ship is to make her debut in Portsmouth by the end of the month after successful trials.

HMS Spey is currently undergoing some fine-tuning after spending 10 days training off the coast of Scotland. 

In the coming weeks, the Batch 2 River-class Offshore Patrol Vessel will embark on a 700-mile journey from the Firth of Clyde to the Solent.

She will be crewed jointly by Royal Navy and merchant personnel.

She will enter Portsmouth under the Blue Ensign, signifying a vessel in Government service, rather than one in the Royal Navy fleet.

HMS Spey's trials focused on the basics of skills such as seafaring, steering, testing machinery and communications.

The ship's guns, including her main 30mm gun, were also tested.

"It was great to see how the ship performed at sea," said HMS Spey’s first Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Ben Evans.

"These trials allowed the ship to really be put through her paces for the first time, and we were able to witness first-hand how the last of the five brand new Offshore Patrol Vessels performs."

Sunset off western Scotland from the upper deck of HMS Spey during sea trials (Picture: Royal Navy).

"It has taken a lot of planning and hard work to get to this point, made especially difficult due to the ongoing pandemic, and I am thankful to everyone involved for getting us to this milestone," he added.

"Everything has been conducted with safety in mind and I am really pleased with the results. Next stop: Portsmouth!"

The 2,000-tonne patrol ship is part of the Royal Navy’s programme of stationing warships around the world in areas key to Britain’s interests.

Sister patrol vessels HMS Forth and HMS Medway are already deployed to the Falklands and the Caribbean respectively, with the patrol areas of HMS Trent, HMS Tamar, and Spey herself yet to be announced.

Following further trials and training, Spey will then be formally transferred to the Royal Navy and commissioned.

She will be ready for frontline operations by the early summer of 2021, the Royal Navy said.

Cover image: HMS Spey in the Firth of Clyde, west Scotland (Picture: Royal Navy).