Batch 2 River-class vessel HMS Tamar alongside 190820 CREDIT ROYAL NAVY

Royal Navy's Newest Warship Declared Ready For Frontline Duties

HMS Tamar is ready for operations in "record time".

Batch 2 River-class vessel HMS Tamar alongside 190820 CREDIT ROYAL NAVY

The Royal Navy's newest warship has been declared ready for frontline duties.

HMS Tamar, a Batch 2 River-class Offshore Patrol Vessel, only welcomed sailors on board five months ago and is ready for operations in "record time", according to the Navy.

Since setting sail from Govan Docks in Glasgow at the end of March, the ship has spent 13 out of 17 weeks at sea.

"People have worked long into the night, at weekends, they have thrown themselves into HMS Tamar - and that comes through time and again," said Lieutenant Commander Michael Hutchinson, Commanding Officer.

"It’s a great ship. People are up for it. My crew are young, they have fun, work hard, and together we’ve created a great spirit."

The majority of the 61 crew members on board HMS Tamar are in their 20s but 60-year-old Warrant Officer 1st Class Trevor Ross is more than double the average age of the ship's company.

WO1 Ross is one of the oldest sailors still at sea and one of the few Falklands veterans still serving. He witnessed the decommissioning of the previous Tamar - the base in Hong Kong which closed in 1997.

He said: "Eighteen-hour days, it’s been hard work and very tiring, but the spirit is really, really good - one of the best ships I’ve been on for morale."

The ship has 61 crew members and can also accommodate up to 50 Royal Marines (Picture: Royal Navy).

During the pandemic, the ship and her company operated as a 'Tamar Bubble' while undergoing sea trials.

That includes Fleet Operational Sea Training, or FOST, which is the last piece of training before becoming an active warship.

The ship and her crew underwent fire, flood and navigational training off the west coast of Scotland, with manoeuvres in a number of lochs. 

She then sailed down to the south coast to carry out further exercises and practise offensive tactics with her sister ship HMS Trent against destroyer HMS Defender.

HMS Tamar is the fourth of five new Offshore Patrol Vessels being built to replace the Navy's current fleet of River-class vessels.

She is described as the Navy's "greenest ship" due to equipment which reduces its nitrogen-based emissions from her engine by up to 95%. 

Earlier this month, HMS Tamar's sister ship HMS Trent was commissioned into the fleet and deployed on operations in the Mediterranean. 

Cover image: HMS Tamar (Picture: Royal Navy).