HMS Medway (P223), the second of five new River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), was officially named on October 20 during a ceremony at BAE Systems’ site at Scotstoun, Glasgow.
Guests watched as Lady Wendy Fallon, HMS Medway’s sponsor and wife of Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon named the 2,000 tonne, 90-metre-long/295-foot-long vessel. In keeping with Royal Navy tradition Lady Fallon pressed the button that released a bottle of Dockyard Gin from the Copper Rivet Distillery in Chatham, Kent, against the ship’s hull.
Iain Stevenson, Managing Director of BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: «Today’s naming ceremony is another proud moment in an exceptionally busy year for our business and the Royal Navy. Following the naming of the first River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel in March this year, our employees had the opportunity to celebrate seeing the first Aircraft Carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), set sail for the first time; the first plate of steel cut for the first Type 26 Global Combat Ship; and the naming of the second Aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales (R09). We look forward to delivering HMS Medway (P223) to the Royal Navy next year».
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: «This year we have already named our second aircraft carrier, two Type 26 frigates and the first in the Offshore Patrol Vessel class. It is a privilege to see yet another ship named for the growing Royal Navy. Named after Kent’s main river, my family has taken a particular interest in HMS Medway (P223) over the course of its construction and this is a proud day for all involved. From counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling to securing the UK’s borders, HMS Medway (P223) will help keep Britain safe».
HMS Medway (P223) will shortly embark on sea trials where she will be put through her paces in the open waters off the coast of Scotland. With a crew of 58 HMS Medway (P223) is expected to enter service with the Royal Navy in 2019.