Royal Navy Batch 1 Offshore Patrols Vessels (OPVs)
Navy

UK To Retain Three Patrol Ships For UK Waters After Brexit

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said the Offshore Patrols Vessels are "essential to protecting our waters".

Royal Navy Batch 1 Offshore Patrols Vessels (OPVs)

All three River Class patrol vessels of the Fishery Protection Squadron HMS Severn, HMS Tyne and HMS Mersey exercising off the coast of Cornwall (Picture: Crown Copyright).

The Defence Secretary has announced that three Royal Navy patrol ships will be retained to protect UK home waters. 

The Offshore Patrols Vessels (OPVs), HMS Tyne, HMS Mersey and HMS Severn supported the Fishery Protection Squadron.

All three vessels will be part of the fleet, with funds announced earlier this year by the Chancellor going towards maintaining them ready for service.

HMS Tyne was due to be decommissioned, flying a decommissioning pennant in May 2018, but she remained at the ready.

A decommissioning service for HMS Severn took place last October after 14 years of service, but the process was never formalised and the ship was retained in service.

Speaking in Newcastle on board HMS Tyne, the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said each ship will operate from their namesake rivers in Newcastle, Liverpool and Cardiff.

He added: "Britain’s patrol vessels are essential to protecting our waters, our fisheries and our national security.

"Safeguarding the future of these three ships in the Royal Navy will ensure we can respond quickly to incidents at any time, further protecting our waters as we exit the EU."   

Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Severn
Royal Navy patrol ship HMS Severn was decommissioned last year after 14 years of service.

The three Batch 1 Offshore Patrols Vessels were due to be replaced by a new generation of Batch 2 ships.

The Ministry Defence says the Batch 1 vessels will also be bolstered by five new-generation Batch 2 OPVs over the next two years.

HMS Forth, HMS Medway, HMS Trent, HMS Tamar and HMS Spey are all expected to be in service by 2020.