Tag Archives: Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV)

OPV «Musherib»

The technical launch of the first-in-class patrol vessel (OPV – Offshore Patrol Vessel) «Musherib», ordered to Fincantieri by the Qatari Ministry of Defence within the national naval acquisition program, took place today at the Muggiano (La Spezia) yard, at the presence of the Italian Minister of Defence Lorenzo Guerini, of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Qatar Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, of the Chief of Staff of the Qatari Emiri Navy Major General Abdulla Hassan Al Suleiti, and of the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, welcomed by the Chairman and CEO of Fincantieri, Giampiero Massolo and Giuseppe Bono. The launch, held privately and in full compliance with the current health regulations, followed the first steel cutting of the vessel «Sumaysimah», fourth corvette of the same program.

Musherib
Fincantieri launches the first patrol vessel for Qatar

The «Musherib» OPV vessel, to be delivered in 2022 and whose design is consistent with the RINAMIL for Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) rules, will be a flexible type of ship capable of performing several services, from surveillance to combat functions. It is about 63 meters/206.7 feet long, 9.2 meters/30.2 feet wide, with a maximum speed of 30 knots/34.5 mph/55.5 km/h and it will accommodate as many as 38 of crew members. The propulsion system has four variable pitch propellers, two to starboard and two to the left, each in line with a diesel propulsion engine. Furthermore, the vessel will be capable of operating a RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) through a crane located at the stern.

The contract, worth for Fincantieri nearly 4 billion euros, envisages the supply of seven surface vessels, including four corvettes, one amphibious vessel (LPD – Landing Platform Dock), and two patrol vessels (OPV – Offshore Patrol Vessel) as well as support services in Qatar for further 10 years after the delivery of the vessels. All the units are entirely built in the Group’s Italian shipyards, ensuring continuity to the activities until 2024 as well as guaranteeing an important impact on the main Italian defense companies.

Trent joins fleet

HMS Trent (P224) has been commissioned into the Royal Navy fleet during a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base on August 3, 2020.

New Offshore Patrol Vessel HMS Trent (P224) joins fleet

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.

Patrol Vessel

The Royal Navy’s newest vessel HMS Tamar (P233) has raised the White Ensign from her deck for the first time and takes her place as a Fleet warship.

HMS Tamar (P233) raises her flag on her own river

Uniquely conducting the ceremony on her namesake, the River Tamar, the very distinctive Batch 2 River-class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), bears two rampant red lions either side of her superstructure, representing her close affiliations with both Devon and Cornwall.

Over the past few weeks the Ship has been operating around Plymouth Sound and the South West sea training areas, carrying out her acceptance trials and a series of firsts for the ship and her crew. These has included the first helicopter landing – a Wildcat from Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, her first gunnery exercises, as well as boat drills and emergency exercises, that has put the crew through their paces.

HMS Tamar (P233) also has the distinction for being the ‘Greenest Ship in the Royal Navy’ – fitted with ‘catalytic converters’ which reduce nitrogen-based emissions from her engine exhausts by up to 95 per cent. She weighs in at 2,000 tonnes, has a 6,000 nautical mile/10,186 km range and a flight deck capable of carrying a Merlin helicopter. She also has accommodation for up to 50 Royal Marines Commandos and is considered by her crew as the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of Royal Navy vessels.

Lieutenant Commander Michael Hutchinson, Commanding Officer of HMS Tamar (P233) said; «It’s an incredibly proud moment for the ship. We’ve generated really quickly, we’ve done all our training and now we are at the point where we can join the Fleet, and start to get ready for our first deployment later this year».

Affiliated to the Cornish City of Truro, Councillor Bert Biscoe the Mayor Truro has sent his best wishes to the Ship: «On behalf of the community of Truro, the elected members and establishment of Truro City Council, and all those for whom Truro is home and a workplace, may I convey the good wishes and congratulations to the Captain of HMS Tamar (P233) on the auspicious occasion of its commissioning into the Fleet. The River Tamar is the oldest cultural boundary in Europe, and it is fitting that the vessel carries the name of the River which bonds, as a son to his mother, the Duchy of Kernow to the Crown. Long may she patrol and protect us one and all – Tamar bys Vykken»!

Lady Brigitte Peach, the Lady Sponsor of HMS Tamar (P233) also sent a goodwill message on the raising the White Ensign for the first time: «Congratulations to you all on the outstanding achievement of your transition to a Warship proudly bearing the famous White Ensign. From the wonderful moment of her launch just over a year ago, I followed your excellent progress from build acceptance to a fighting platform. Of course, current circumstances have prevented me from being with you at sea and for the memorable moment of the raising of the White Ensign, but I am there with you in spirit and continue to follow your progress with interest. I look forward to joining you when and where circumstances permit, my best wishes for an exciting future. Fair winds and following seas to you all».

Patrol Vessel

HMS Spey (P234), the last of five River Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), was named in front of gathered VIPs and employees at an official ceremony in Glasgow on 3 October, 2019.

HMS Spey (P234) named at official ceremony

In keeping with naval tradition, guests watched as Lady Johnstone, HMS Spey’s sponsor, named the 2000 tonne vessel by releasing a bottle of special blend Spey whisky from Speyside Distillery that smashed against the ship’s hull.

HMS Spey (P234) is the last in a class of five vessels that have been built in Glasgow. With construction starting on the first ship in late 2014, these vessels have provided an important opportunity to maintain essential design, construction and systems integration skills, while introducing new processes and technologies that are already being used in the production of the UK’s Type 26 frigates.

David Shepherd, OPV Programme Director said: «Today’s ceremony is a truly significant milestone for the River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel programme and builds on our proud heritage of British shipbuilding here in Glasgow. There has been fantastic momentum on this programme and the naming of HMS Spey serves as a great reminder of the importance of the capability and skills of our employees who are working together with the Royal Navy and partners to deliver these important ships».

Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: «Our Offshore Patrol Vessels play a pivotal role in patrolling our coastline, protecting our domestic waters, and supporting maritime interests from anti-smuggling to fisheries protection. The naming of HMS Spey is an exciting milestone for the OPV programme, demonstrating our commitment to UK shipyards while bolstering the Royal Navy’s capabilities».

HMS Spey (P234) will aid in a range of operations from counter-terrorism, and anti-smuggling to securing the UK’S borders to help keep Britain safe, making her a valuable addition to the Royal Navy fleet.

HMS Forth (P222) and HMS Medway (P223), the first two ships in the class, are now in service with the Royal Navy.

Patrol Vessel

The first of Australia’s Arafura Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) will celebrate a naval tradition with the keel-laying ceremony to bring good luck for the shipbuilders and future crew members.

First Arafura Class marks ceremonial keel-laying
First Arafura Class marks ceremonial keel-laying

In the second major milestone of Australia’s newest warship construction program, the keel laying ceremony will see a commemorative coin placed under the keel of the vessel by the youngest shipbuilders in the Osborne Naval Shipyard, followed by the Chief of Navy wedging the coin under the keel.

Luerssen Australia Chairman Tim Wagner said the milestone marked the official start of the ship’s life, and demonstrated the significant progress made already on the Arafura Class program.

«This is another reminder of the importance of the Arafura Class program towards Australia building a sovereign naval shipbuilding capability», Mr. Wagner said. «As the prime contractor and designer for the SEA1180 program, we have been delighted with progress so far, and remain confident that we will deliver all 12 vessels on time and on budget for the Royal Australian Navy».

ASC Chief Executive Officer Stuart Whiley said the Arafura Class shipbuilding program is progressing well, employing more than 150 shipbuilders.

«The Arafura Class is ASC’s second shipbuilding program, commenced as we continue to successfully complete the Air Warfare Destroyer program, and we are very pleased at its progress to date», said Mr. Whiley. «I would also like to pay tribute to the skilled and experienced workforce of ASC Shipbuilding, who are carrying out the shipbuilding work on this program, under contract to ASC».

The youngest male and female shipyard workers, Boilermaker Kane Ramsay and Document Editor Lauren Pitman, will feature in today’s ceremony.

«I’m excited to be part of this new program – it’s great to be looking to the future of shipbuilding», said Kane. «The lead ship is coming together well and it’s great to be a part of today’s traditional milestone. I’m looking forward to seeing the ship completed in the coming months», said Lauren.

Construction of the first of 12 Arafura Class OPVs commenced last November, on time, by prime contractor Luerssen Australia and shipbuilding subcontractor ASC.

The Arafura Class marks the commencement of continuous naval shipbuilding in Australia, which will see major warships and submarines constructed in Osborne, South Australia, and minor warships in Henderson, Western Australia.

The first two OPVs will be constructed at the Osborne Naval Shipyard in South Australia by ASC, with the Australian steel, cut in Western Australia by Civmec. The remaining ten warships will be constructed at Civmec’s facility in Henderson. It is Luerssen’s intention that the joint venture between Civmec and Luerssen Australia known as Australian Maritime Shipbuilding and Export Group (AMSEG) will play a major role in the construction.

Patrol Vessel

Deputy Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral Mark Hammond, joined staff from Navy’s Construction Branch in Adelaide today to mark the start of construction of the first of 12 new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV).

Deputy Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Mark Hammond, AM, RAN, announces that 12 new Offshore Patrol Vessels will be called the Arafura Class
Deputy Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Mark Hammond, AM, RAN, announces that 12 new Offshore Patrol Vessels will be called the Arafura Class

RADM Hammond attended the Osborne Naval Shipyard to see the welding of the first two component blocks which will form part of the first vessel off the production line.

The event included the announcement that Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessels will be known as the Arafura Class, with the first vessel to be commissioned HMAS Arafura when she enters service in 2022.

RADM Hammond said calling the vessels Arafura Class reflected the significance of Navy’s lasting operations to protect Australia’s interests in the Arafura Sea between Cape York and Cape Don.

«This name encapsulates the significant role our maritime regions have in the nation’s security and economic prosperity, importantly the littoral regions around the Australian continent», he said. «This is a much more capable class of ship with greater range, endurance, improved accommodation for the crew staying at sea longer and in every respect, it will outperform older patrol boats. The Arafura Class crews will be tight knit, executing very important missions that will ultimately lead to a great sense of camaraderie and achievement in doing something that’s worthwhile».

The Arafura Class is a custom Australian variant of German shipbuilder Lürssen’s PV80 design and is 80 metres/262.5 feet in length with a displacement of around 1,700 tonnes and a draught of 4 metres/13 feet.

The Arafura Class will replace the Armidale Class and Cape Class patrol boats, Huon Class coastal minehunters and Leeuwin Class survey ships and will primarily be used for constabulary missions, maritime patrol and response duties.

The design includes two changeable, containerised mission systems, supporting secondary roles such as mine hunting, unmanned aerial system missions, and hydrographic surveying.

The first two Arafura Class vessels will be built at Osborne with the following ten to be built at Henderson in Western Australia.

Six of the vessels will be based at HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin, four at HMAS Cairns in north Queensland and two at HMAS Stirling in Western Australia.

 

Specifications

Type Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV)
Roles Maritime border patrol

Maritime constabulary roles including interdiction

Fisheries patrol

Humanitarian and disaster relief

Minehunting

Hydrographic Survey

Builder Lürssen Australia and Civmec
Displacement 1,640 tonnes
Length 80 m/262.5 feet
Beam 13 m/42.6 feet
Draught 4 m/13 feet
Propulsion 2 × 8,500KW diesel engines
Speed 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h (maximum)
Range 4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7408 km
Boats 2 × 8.5 m/6.56 × 27.9 feet sea boats (side launched)

1 × 10.5 m/3.28 × 34.5 feet sea boat (stern launched)

Weapons 40-mm gun

2 × .50/12.7-mm calibre machine guns

Company 40 crew with accommodation for up to 60 personnel

 

Officially commissioned

HMS Forth (P222), the first of the Royal Navy’s next-generation of Offshore Patrol ships has been formally commissioned into the Fleet.

HMS Forth (P222) is officially commissioned into the Royal Navy
HMS Forth (P222) is officially commissioned into the Royal Navy

Held at her home base of Portsmouth, the commissioning ceremony for HMS Forth (P222) represents the second ship to join the Royal Navy in less than six months.

After the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) in December, HMS Forth (P222) is the next generation of warships to arrive as part of the government’s £178bn plan to give the Armed Forces the equipment it needs over the next decade.

She is the first of five new Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) designed for counter-piracy, anti-smuggling, fishery protection, border patrol, counter terrorism and maritime defence duties.

Commanding Officer, Commander Bob Laverty, said: «It’s a privilege to be the Commanding Officer of HMS Forth, the first in class of the new Batch 2 Offshore Patrol Vessels. The body of work being put in by my ship’s company will be reflected in not just one, but all five brand new platforms being delivered to the RN and these fantastic ships will be a fine addition to the fleet. They are a highly capable and versatile warship and I am immensely proud of the effort and sacrifices all have made that have allowed us to be here today».

The commissioning ceremony lasted for just over an hour and guests included the Lady Sponsor Rachel Johnstone-Burt, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones, Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Ben Key and Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff Ships Rear Admiral Chris Gardner.

Classified as Batch 2 River-class OPVs HMS Forth (P222) and her sisters – HMS Trent (P224), Medway (P223), Tamar and Spey – are a significant upgrade on HMS Tyne (P281), HMS Severn (P282), HMS Mersey (P283) and HMS Clyde (P257), which were designed and built 15 years ago. With HMS Forth (P222) entering service this year the remaining four ships are all expected to arrive in Portsmouth by 2020.

They will become the Royal Navy’s eyes and ears around the UK, helping to safeguard fishing stocks, reassure and protect the Falkland Islands and are capable of deploying to the Mediterranean and Caribbean to safeguard the UK’s interests around the world.

Paddy Clayton, deputy head of the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) OPV Project Team, said: «The team at DE&S is extremely proud to see HMS Forth’s commissioning. We will continue to work closely with our delivery partners throughout UK industry and our customer as the remaining four ships in the new fleet are delivered into Royal Navy service».

Designed for a total crew of around 58, but requiring only 34 to go to sea, she can spend up to 320 days a year on operations. The larger crew allows a rotation of personnel to ensure they get to spend time at home or on training.

Built by BAE Systems at their base on the Clyde, the new OPVs are four knots faster than their predecessors at 24 knots/26.6 mph/44.4 km/h, have an increased range of 5,500 NM/6,329 miles/10,186 km, have a 30-mm automatic cannon as their main armament instead of a 20-mm gun, two Miniguns, four machine-guns and are equipped with two Pacific 24 sea boats.

Each ship has an extended flight deck to operate up to Merlin size helicopters and accommodation for up to 50 embarked Royal Marines for boarding and supporting operations ashore if required.

The new OPVs will be supported at Portsmouth Naval Base by BAE Systems, initially under the terms of the manufacturing contract.

Christening of Trent

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.

Third River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel named in Glasgow
Third River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel named in Glasgow

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.

 

Landmark moment

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.

The formal acceptance

Guto Bebb MP, the recently appointed UK Minister for Defence Procurement, visited BAE Systems’ Clyde shipyards today to announce the formal acceptance of the first River Class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) by the Ministry of Defence and witness progress on the Type 26 programme as production started on the second hull section of Glasgow, the first of the City Class frigates.

Defence Minister announces acceptance of Royal Navy's new Offshore Patrol Vessel HMS Forth (P222)
Defence Minister announces acceptance of Royal Navy’s new Offshore Patrol Vessel HMS Forth (P222)

Defence Minister Guto Bebb said: «Thanks to the hard work of the Clyde shipyards, HMS Forth (P222) is now ready to join the Royal Navy surface fleet and begin the vital task of defending the UK and her interests around the world. Developing the Type 26 capability is also making great strides forward, reflecting the UK’s commitment to this cutting-edge new warship, which will sustain 4,000 jobs in Scotland and right across the UK».

HMS Forth (P222) will remain at the Scotstoun yard in Glasgow for a short period to complete some additional work requested by the MOD and on departure will be the first complex warship to leave Glasgow since HMS Duncan (D37) in 2013. She is expected to be commissioned into Her Majesty’s fleet at her home port of Portsmouth Naval Base this year.

HMS Medway (P223), the second of class, was named in October 2017 and is set to depart for sea trials in the first half of this year, while HMS Trent (P224) will be formally named in the spring. Tamar and Spey, the last of the River Class OPVs are currently under production at BAE Systems’ Govan yard.

Iain Stevenson, BAE Systems Naval Ships Managing Director, said: «It has been a pleasure to welcome the Minister to our facilities today and we were proud to show him around HMS Forth (P222). She is the first of a very special class of ships that we know will provide the Royal Navy and her crew with the flexibility they need to perform their vital operations. We are equally proud of the progress we are making on Glasgow, which is the first of three contracted next generation City Class Type 26 frigates. We are committed to supporting the Royal Navy through the delivery of these ships plus the five River Class OPVs, while we continue to work with our partner Cammell Laird to bid for the Type 31e contract».

Manufacture of the first Type 26, Glasgow, began in July 2017 and is progressing well with production starting on the second zone of the ship. The first hull section is already taking shape at the Govan yard and the second houses the main machinery space, aviation stores for embarked helicopters and a recreational area for the ships’ 59 senior rates.

During the visit BAE Systems also announced the signing of a £5.6 million contract with General Electric to establish an Electrical Integration and Test Facility in Whetstone, Leicestershire, to enable critical de-risking integration tests for the Type 26 propulsion systems. The agreement, which follows a previous Design Development contract signed in 2016, brings the total committed investment in the facility to around £13 million.

With a cutting edge platform design and the ability to adapt to the requirements of different navies, the Type 26 design has been proposed for the Australian Government’s anti-submarine warfare frigate programme and the Canadian Surface Combatant programme.

Bangladeshi patrol

On October 12, 2017, Fincantieri has delivered at its shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia) the last two units part of the supply contract of four Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), to the Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG), through the upgrading and conversion of the «Minerva» class corvettes, decommissioned by the Italian Navy. These are the «Urania» and «Danaide» vessels, renamed «KARAMUZZAMAN» and «MANSOOR ALI», which have been retired from the national fleet in March 2016 and shortly after arrived at Fincantieri’s dock in Genova, where the upgrading and conversion activities started. The units have been completed at the Integrated naval shipyard of Muggiano (La Spezia).

Fincantieri has converted and upgraded four former Italian navy corvettes into offshore patrol vessels for the Bangladesh Coast Guard. The first were handed over in August 2016 and the final two on October 12 (Fincantieri photo)
Fincantieri has converted and upgraded four former Italian navy corvettes into offshore patrol vessels for the Bangladesh Coast Guard. The first were handed over in August 2016 and the final two on October 12 (Fincantieri photo)

Attending the ceremony, among others, Mr. Mostafa Kamal Uddin, Secretary to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Rear Adm. AMMM Aurangzeb Chowdhury, Director General of the Bangladesh Coast Guard, while Fincantieri was represented by Paolo Frino, Deputy Senior Vice President Fincantieri Services.

Together with «Minerva» and «Sibilla», renamed «SYED NAZRUL» and «TAJUDDIN» and delivered in August 2016, these vessels will form the backbone of the Bangladesh Coast Guard’s fleet, with an extension of the lifespan by more than twenty years.

The units will be used to patrol the country’s maritime boundaries and traffic in its Exclusive Economic Zone, with capabilities to contain environmental pollution and to rescue and assist civilian populations in the case of humanitarian emergencies. This contract has confirmed, therefore, the ability of Fincantieri – the only one among the suppliers of naval vessels – to offer tailor-made solutions for every Navy and Coast Guard, according to individual needs and characteristics, by developing new projects or, alternatively, thanks to the precious support of the Italian Navy, by performing in-depth and strict refitting process on second-hand units.

Within the development of Fincantieri business in the Far East, this agreement is moreover particularly relevant for the supply of after-sales services for naval vessels, because it allows to provide a full range of services for both the platform and the combat system: from industrial Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul and Conversions  to those related to the Life Cycle Management of the vessels, both through the supply of Integrated Logistic Support services, usually developed during construction or conversion, and of In Service Support activities, ensured after the delivery, during the operation of the vessels.