Photo: BAE reveals first Royal Navy offshore patrol vessel HMS Forth ahead of launch

HMS Forth. Photo: BAE Systems
HMS Forth. Photo: BAE Systems

British shipbuilder BAE Systems has shared a photo of the first of three new Royal Navy offshore patrol vessels, HMS Forth, outside the Govan construction shed in Glasgow prior to its launch.

BAE received a £348 million contract to build the three vessels in August 2014. The offshore patrol vessels will be used by the Royal Navy for counter terrorism, counter piracy and anti-smuggling operations.

The other two ships in the class are HMS Medway and HMS Trent. HMS Forth is expected to enter service in 2017.

Featuring a redesigned flight deck to operate the latest Merlin helicopters as well as increased storage and accommodation facilities, the OPVs are based on the Royal Navy’s current River-class vessels. The same design is also used by the Brazilian and Royal Thai Navy.

With a length of 90 meters, the OPVs will have a displacement of 2,000 tonnes and will be able to reach a maximum speed of 24 knots. They will be able to accommodate 60 persons for 35 days, and will have a range of over 5,000 nautical miles.

The ships will feature BAE’s CMS-1 combat management system while the radars are provided by Kelvin Hughes. The radar system consists of an I Band Doppler SharpEye radar for helicopter control and navigation and an E/F Band SharpEye radar for navigation and collision avoidance.