UK’s OPVs and Type 26 frigates embrace green tech to boost global presence

The Royal Navy’s offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) and Type 26 frigates have embraced the latest green technology to minimize the environmental footprint which will give them freedom of maneuver in all emission control areas in the world.

Royal Navy

As explained, green technologies are being incorporated on OPVs HMS Tamar and HMS Spey. Their selective catalytic reduction system works to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide by up to 97 percent, according to the navy.

HMS Tamar; Photo by: Royal Navy

By converting urea to ammonia onboard, the gasses are injected into catalysts in the exhaust system, where it breaks down harmful emissions and converts them into simple diatomic nitrogen and water, the navy emphasized.

That makes the two sister vessels IMO Tier 3 Compliant, giving them freedom of maneuver in all emission control areas, and hence full global reach. To remind, the IMO members have agreed to cut shipping emissions by at least 50 pct by 2050 compared to 2008 to tackle the challenges of climate change.

Pictured: HMS Spey and HMS Tamar leave HMNB Portsmouth; Photo by: Royal Navy

Moreover, the units are equipped with ballast water management systems. The water taken on board is treated with ultraviolet light to sanitize the water which means the ships won’t carry invasive species around the world in their tanks.

“The importance of looking after our oceans and ocean conservation is a priority on board. We are looking at ways how in the future we can support this during our enduring mission to the Indo-Asia Pacific region,” Lucas Wright, one of Tamar’s marine engineering officers, stated.

In addition to this, the navy’s Type 26 frigates which are currently in the construction phases, will embrace the latest technology and shipbuilding practices to minimize any impact on the environment.

 The first of eight Type 26 frigates, HMS Glasgow, in addition to including improvements in Spey and Tamar, has a hull coated in environmentally-friendly anti-fouling – it doesn’t rely on chemicals to prevent marine growth clinging to the ship and slowing it down, according to the officials.

HMS Glasgow; Photo by: Royal Navy

“That hull has gone through hydrodynamic design to make Glasgow as sleek as possible, while a ‘stern flap’ adds an extra knot to her speed without needing the extra power. And finally, given Glasgow’s principal mission – to hunt hostile submarines – the ship is fitted with the Sonar 2117 system which provides the crew with an assessment of the risk to marine life caused by operations,” the navy concluded.

Recently, the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) released new details regarding Type 26 frigates.

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Eight Type 26s will replace Type 23 frigates, alongside a new class of general-purpose light frigates. The ships are being designed to protect new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers from hostile submarines. They will be expected to deal with missions across the full spectrum of Royal Navy operations – complex combat scenarios, counter-piracy, as well as humanitarian and disaster relief.