HMS Trent (P224) has been commissioned into the Royal Navy fleet during a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base on August 3, 2020.
In 2013 it was announced that the Royal Navy had signed an Agreement in Principle to build three new offshore patrol vessels, based on the River-class design, at a fixed price of £348 million including spares and support.
The following year, BAE Systems signed the contract to build the ships on the Clyde in Scotland. The Ministry of Defence stated that the Batch 2 ships are capable of being used for constabulary duties such as «counter-terrorism, counter-piracy and anti-smuggling operations».
According to BAE Systems, the vessels are designed to deploy globally, conducting anti-piracy, counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling tasks currently conducted by frigates and destroyers.
HMS Trent (P224), the third of five new River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), was officially named on March 13, 2018 during a ceremony at BAE Systems’ site at Govan, Glasgow, as final preparations were made before she enters the water for the first time in the coming days.
To mark the occasion, employees and guests watched as Mrs. Pamela Potts, Trent’s sponsor and wife of Vice Admiral Duncan Potts, named the vessel which will aid in a range of operations including counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling to secure the UK’s borders.
Mrs. Potts released a bottle of gin from the Nelson’s Gin Distillery & Gin School in Stafford against the ship’s hull to officially name the vessel.
Iain Stevenson, Managing Director of BAE Systems Naval Ships, said: «This is another landmark moment for the River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel programme and an important day that honours the traditions of the Royal Navy. Today is made even more special as we are able to see the full scale of Trent as she prepares to enter the water for the very first time in the next few days. This is yet another reminder of the importance of what we do».
Defence Minister Guto Bebb MP said: «As the third of five Offshore Patrol Vessels being built in Scotland, HMS Trent (P224) will soon be part of a fleet of highly capable ships. These new vessels will keep the UK safe by conducting counter-terrorism, anti-piracy, anti-smuggling and other vital maritime operations. UK Defence has invested in an unprecedented ship-building production line in Glasgow and the city’s shipyards with their 1,700 highly skilled engineers and technicians are benefiting from full order books for the next two decades».
After the Naming Ceremony HMS Trent (P224) will be loaded onto an awaiting barge which will then lower her into the water before her outfitting and systems installation. HMS Trent (P224) is expected to be delivered to the Royal Navy in the second half of 2018.
In February, HMS Forth (P222), the first of five River Class OPVs departed Glasgow and her birthplace on the Clyde, to make her way to the home port at Portsmouth Naval Base. This was a significant milestone in the programme as HMS Forth (P222) is the first completed complex warship to leave Glasgow since HMS DUNCAN in 2013.
The second in class, HMS Medway (P223), named in October 2017, is set to depart for sea trials in the first half of this year. The fourth ship, HMS Tamar, is now structurally complete while the final River Class OPV, HMS Spey, is under construction at BAE Systems’ Govan yard.