Royal Navy’s OPVs complete first Indo-Pacific deployment

Royal Navy offshore patrol vessel HMS Tamar, together with its sister ship HMS Spey, has completed the first deployment in the Indo-Asia Pacific as part of Britain’s permanent naval presence in the region.

The vessels departed Portsmouth in September 2021, marking the start of their Indo-Pacific deployment.

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Since deploying in September 2021, Tamar and Spey have travelled 25,000 nautical miles to Columbia, through the Panama Canal, transiting along the US West coast and into the region via Hawaii. 

Some of the highlights of OPV’s operations include:

  • In January, Tamar patrolled the East China Sea to conduct monitoring and surveillance against illicit maritime activities, including ship-to-ship transfers with North Korea-flagged vessels prohibited by the United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCRs).

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  • In February, Tamar took part in exercise Bersama Shield with the Five Powers Defence Arrangements (FPDA) nations (UK, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia). 
  • Spey has worked with regional partners to carry out environmental and hydrographic surveys as well as water sampling, contributing to studies on climate change. One of the greenest ships in the Royal Navy, Spey also carried out important Marine Bio-diversity taskings.

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Over the course of their five-year deployment, HMS Tamar and HMS Spey plan to work with allies and partners across the region and plan to visit countries from Australia to Japan, and Fiji to Singapore.

“The 90m-long patrol vessel has a pivotal role in tackling shared security challenges and developing relationships; we’re not a carrier, we’re not a massive warship or an intimidating force, we’re here as a force for good and a force for peace,” Lieutenant Commander Matt Millyard, Tamar’s executive officer, said.