Sea vessels

HMS Spey Commissioned Into Royal Navy

HMs Spey, a Batch 2 River-class Offshore Patrol Vessel, entered the Royal Navy fleet following a scaled-down ceremony in Scotland.

HMS Spey has been commissioned into the Royal Navy in a ceremony in Invergordon – her affiliated town.

The fifth and final Batch 2 River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) was built on the Clyde and officially entered the Royal Navy fleet following a commissioning ceremony – scaled down due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Lieutenant Commander Ben Evans, Commanding Officer of HMS Spey, told Forces News both himself and his ship's company were "immensely proud" to be at the commissioning ceremony.

"To bring the ship back to Scotland for the first time since she was accepted into the Royal Navy is a very proud day for us," he said.

"This is a Scottish ship, built in Scotland with close links to this part of the country, and which will soon fly the White Ensign around the globe."

"For many here today this is the first time they would have seen the newest ship in the Royal Navy, and we are ensuring that the day is celebrated as safely as possible.

"I am proud to be here today with my amazing Ship's Company.

"They have achieved so much and worked so hard to get us to this important milestone," he added.

 

During the ceremony in the Highlands, the Royal Marine Band Scotland provided a musical accompaniment and Poseidon aircraft from RAF Lossiemouth performed a flypast.

Marine Engineer Annabel Trown, Engineering Technician on HMS Spey, told Forces News it was "brilliant" to be back in Scotland for the ceremony, especially considering COVID-19 restrictions.

"It’s not doing it somewhere else, like in Portsmouth... so it's nice we could come to actually where the ship is from and has a link and connection to," she said.

HMS Spey left the Clyde shipyard in October last year, before undergoing a rigorous programme of operational sea training to ready her for action.

Designed to work both domestically and overseas, HMS Spey and her sister vessels can carry a crew of about 45 Royal Navy sailors – with room on board for 50 troops.

The ships can also embark a Royal Navy Merlin helicopter, on their 20m flight decks, and can perform a wide range of tasks – from anti-piracy patrols to disaster relief efforts.

HMS Spey leaving Falmouth Harbour with dazzle paintwork 040621 CREDIT BOB SHARPLES ALAMY
HMS Spey recently underwent operational sea training before she was commissioned into the Royal Navy's fleet (Picture: Royal Navy).

Rear Admiral Simon Asquith OBE, the Royal Navy's Commander Operations, also attended the ceremony and said the second-generation OPVs will make "a real difference to current operations globally".

"The commissioning of Spey demonstrates a further development to the Royal Navy's role in Global Britain where, later in the year in company with her sister ship Tamar, she will deploy to the Indo-Asian-Pacific region for the foreseeable future," he said.

"Once deployed, they will work closely with allies and partners to support maritime security in the region."

HMS Spey underwent a makeover earlier this month, with a "dazzle" camouflage paint scheme, something introduced towards the end of the First World War, to confuse enemies trying to identify and target ships.