Sea vessels

Jersey Fishing Row: What Is HMS Tamar?

HMS Tamar looks a bit different to many Royal Navy vessels after recently undergoing a dazzle camouflage makeover.

Royal Navy vessel HMS Tamar is patrolling waters around Jersey amid concerns of a possible blockade of the island due to an ongoing row with France over post-Brexit fishing rights.

HMS Tamar is the fourth of the five new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) built to replace the older River-class ships.

According to the Navy, she can perform a variety of roles from intercepting drug traffickers and smugglers to protecting UK territorial waters and providing humanitarian assistance following a disaster.

HMS Tamar, a Batch 2 River-class vessel, only joined the Royal Navy fleet last year and is described as the "greenest" ship in service

The Portsmouth-based ship is kitted out with catalyic converters which can reduce her nitrogen-based emission by between 75 to 90%. 

Her engines are also covered in sensors to help reduce emissions and she is the first ship to be equipped with the new technology. 

Watch: Forces News cameras were given a tour around HMS Tamar last year.

Tamar's weaponry includes personnel support weapons, such as the SA80A2 rifle and the Glock pistol.

The vessel also has a general-purpose machine gun, mini-gun and 30mm cannon at its front.

As well as a more powerful navigation radar, HMS Tamar comes with a GPS and encrypted GPS, something unavailable on the older OPVs, like HMS Severn which has also been deployed to Jersey.

HMS Tamar can also accommodate up to 51 Royal Marines or soldiers.

Recently, marines from 47 Commando and 42 Commando have been testing 1,050-brake horsepower jet suits on board HMS Tamar, practising taking off and landing on the ship.

HMS Tamar set sail from Falmouth, Cornwall, earlier this week for the first time since a period of maintenance.

Watch: HMS Tamar recently conducted testing with marines using jet suits.

The ship was given a makeover in the form of dazzle camouflage, covered with various shades of black, white and grey in abstract shapes.

The paint scheme was introduced by the Navy towards the end of the First World War, intended to confuse submariners peering through periscopes, making it hard for them to identify ships.

It was quickly phased out by the Navy after the end of World War Two in 1945 and the improvement of radar and other technology.

The decision to repaint HMS Tamar is a nod to the Navy's heritage, rather than an operational move, and the dazzle camouflage is set to be extended across the entire Batch 2 River-class patrol ship fleet. 

Tamar is the first serving Navy ship to receive dazzle camouflage since the Second World War. 

Cover image: HMS Tamar alongside in Falmouth.