HMS Spey arrives at Portsmouth home base 301020 CREDIT Royal Navy.jpg
Sea vessels

HMS Spey Makes First Arrival At Portsmouth Naval Base

The fifth and final River-class offshore patrol vessel has arrived at her new home base.

HMS Spey arrives at Portsmouth home base 301020 CREDIT Royal Navy.jpg

The fifth and final next-generation River-class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) has arrived at her new home at Portsmouth Naval Base for the first time.

HMS Spey sailed from BAE Systems' shipyard in Glasgow earlier this week.

She recently completed a programme of successful sea trials and will now continue her work at HM Naval Base Portsmouth, before hoisting the White Ensign next year, joining her four sister ships in the Royal Navy fleet.

Spey was delivered to the base under a Red Ensign.

After representatives of the Royal Navy, BAE Systems and Defence Equipment and Support signed her acceptance contracts, she was welcomed to her base port.

"This is a fantastic day for my Ship's Company, our friends and families, affiliates and everyone involved in the Batch 2 Offshore Patrol Vessel build project," HMS Spey’s first commanding officer said.

Personnel on deck of HMS Spey arrive in Portsmouth 301020 CREDIT Royal Navy.jpg
HMS Spey is expected to be ready for operations by early summer 2021 (Picture: Royal Navy).

Lieutenant Commander Ben Evans added: "We now embark on an intense period of training to prepare us for operations in the newest and greenest ship of the Royal Navy.

"My team are ready and excited about the journey ahead of us and we are all immensely proud to serve in the eighth ship to bear the name Spey."

Steve Timms, managing director of BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: "The acceptance of HMS Spey serves as a great reminder of the importance of what we do, and the capability and skills of our employees who worked side by side with the Royal Navy and our partners to deliver these important ships to the Royal Navy."

When the COVID-19 lockdown began in March, Spey was still in fitting-out at Scotstoun.

In August, her first sailors arrived on board, before being made sea-ready and beginning a successful set of trials in September.

HMS Spey crew on deck arrive at Portsmouth Naval Base 301020 CREDIT Royal Navy.jpg
HMS Spey will undertake general patrol duties, anti-smuggling taskings and provide humanitarian relief (Picture: Royal Navy).

The 2,000-tonne patrol ship is expected to be ready for operations by early summer 2021.

She will undertake general patrol duties, anti-smuggling taskings, and provide humanitarian relief where it is needed.

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 yet to be announced.

Last month, HMS Trent began her first operational deployment, helping to keep waters secure in the Mediterranean as part of a NATO mission.

Cover image: HMS Spey arrives in Portsmouth (Picture: Royal Navy).