Royal Navy’s greenest ship makes its Portsmouth debut

The Royal Navy’s new offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar has arrived in its homeport of Portsmouth for the first time, becoming the fourth of five new OPVs to be delivered from Glasgow shipyards.

Photo: Royal Navy

HMS Tamar – which has the accolade of being the greenest vessel the navy has ever had — will now spend time on tests and trials allowing its crew to become acquainted with the vessel before they begin operational sea training together.

In the meantime, the crew are ready to assist the UK government as part of defense’s contribution to tackling the coronavirus epidemic if called upon.

“It’s a great achievement for both the ship’s company and our partners in BAE Naval Ships who built Tamar to arrive at Portsmouth Naval Base and begin her generation to a multi-role patrol vessel,” Lieutenant Commander Mike Hutchinson, Commanding Officer of HMS Tamar, commented.

“While many of our colleagues across the Armed Forces are already supporting the NHS during the immediate Covid-19 response, our current focus is on bringing Tamar to readiness so that the Royal Navy’s mission to protect our long-term national interests at home and overseas continues.”

The ship is the first of its class to have a urea filter installed which will reduce damaging diesel exhaust emissions by about 90%.

It is hoped a formal commissioning ceremony will take place later in the year.

HMS Tamar’s other sisters are already taking on vital maritime security work, with HMS Forth patrolling the Falkland Islands and HMS Medway in the Caribbean.

HMS Tamar and its sister ships are larger, faster and able to stay at sea for longer than many comparable vessels. The vessel carries a 30mm main cannon, can conduct helicopter operations and can embark up to 50 personnel, in addition to about 40 crew.

Five refined River class OPVs were ordered in 2014 to supplement those already in the navy’s fleet. The final vessel, HMS Spey, is in fitting-out on the Clyde and will also be based in Portsmouth.