Tag Archives: HMS Medway (P223)

Sea trials

The second of the Navy’s next-generation patrol ships will debut in Portsmouth in the New Year after successfully completing her maiden sea trials.

HMS Medway (P223) makes headway as new patrol ship completes sea trials
HMS Medway (P223) makes headway as new patrol ship completes sea trials

HMS Medway (P223) spent 15 days in the Firth of Clyde tested her engines, manoeuvrability, sensors and main cannon under a mixed civilian/Royal Navy crew under Admiralty Trials Master Captain Graham Baxter.

The ship is the second of five 2,000-tonne River-class 2.0 vessels built for patrol duties in home waters and beyond by BAE Systems on the Clyde.

After more than a year being fitted out at Scotstoun, the ship headed down the Clyde and into its estuary for a busy trials programme.

Throughout the trials package, all onboard systems were put through their paces including the Integrated Platform Management System, which controls and monitors most of the ship’s systems, and the Combat Management System which is used to collate sensor information and assist the command team in the decisions they make when in action.

The Automated Small Calibre Gun, the 30-mm cannon on the forecastle, fired rounds at a ‘killer tomato’ inflatable target with impressive accuracy and the off-ship fire monitors tested correctly.

Ship handling trials such as manoeuvrability, speed and range trials generated a lot of interest onboard, as HMS Medway (P223) was taken to the upper limits of performance.

«It was great to finally get to sea on Medway», said marine engineer Chief Petty Officer Will Davies. «The small Royal Navy team benefited from the experience and had a lot of opportunities to improve their ship and systems knowledge. The whole trials package was really positive».

Weapon engineer Chief Petty Officer Luke Travell added: «Achieving so much during our trials period really shows how much effort we have all put in. BAE, ship’s staff and all the contractors should be really proud».

Lieutenant Commander Ben Power – Medway’s first sea-going Commanding Officer – said the small ship presented a superb sight as she manoeuvred deftly in the Firth of Clyde. «She is a hugely-capable ship which will add flexibility and strength to the offshore patrol vessel force», he added.

HMS Medway (P223) is now back in Scotstoun undergoing a final period of planned maintenance and tweaks, as well as processing and analysing results from the trials to meet criteria which will her allow her to be accepted by the Royal Navy, before she sails down to her future home of Portsmouth in 2019.

The second OPV

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.

Second River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel named in Glasgow
Second River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel named in 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.