90m Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV), United Kingdom

BAE Systems is building a new class of three 90m Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) to meet multiple mission requirements of the UK Royal Navy.

The offshore patrol vessel is intended to carry out a range of economic exclusion zone management tasks such as maritime security, border control, routine patrols, anti-smuggling, counter-terrorism, counter-piracy, and fishery protection, as well as effective disaster relief. It can also be used for the protection of natural resources.

BAE Systems received a £348m ($529m) contract from the UK Ministry of Defence to build three new OPV class ships for the UK Royal Navy in August 2014. The multi-million contract is expected to create more than 800 jobs in Scotland.

Construction of the first patrol ship in the class, HMS Forth, began in Glasgow in October 2014 and the vessel is set for delivery in 2017. The second and third vessels will be named HMS Medway and HMS Trent, respectively.

90m OPV design and features

Amazonas Class Offshore Patrol Vessels, Brazil

The Amazonas Class Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) were introduced into the Brazilian Navy under the PROSUPER programme. Three vessels have been built and delivered by BAE Systems between 2012 and 2013.

The new offshore patrol vessel is an evolution of the 80m River Class vessels used by the UK Royal Navy. It features a highly versatile, flexible design, and delivers more efficient operations.

The patrol ship has a length of 90.5m, width of 13m and a displacement of 2,000t. It provides accommodation for 60 personnel, including a crew of 34. The vessel can also carry up to 50 embarked troops or passengers.

The OPV boasts of an enhanced flight deck at the aft to operate the latest Merlin helicopters. It is capable of carrying two Pacific 24 rigid inflatable boats (RIBs). A 16t crane will be attached to lift equipments. The vessel also features large storage, accommodation, and medical facilities.

BAE Systems' new state-of-the-art shared infrastructure operating system will be installed in the ship to deliver simpler operations. It employs virtual technologies to integrate the weapon systems, sensors, and management systems for the complex warships.

The vessel will be equipped with BAE Systems' CMS-1 combat system to provide planning, tactical picture compilation, situational awareness, decision-making, and control of weapons from its intuitive consoles in littoral operations. The combat system also assists Nato and other coalition missions.


The main armament of the UK Royal Navy's new 90m offshore patrol vessel is a 30mm cannon. The vessel will be fitted with small calibre machine guns. It can also be mounted with a 12.7mm gun location and a 25mm secondary armament on both the port and starboard sides.

Sensors and communications onboard the OPV

"The offshore patrol vessel is intended to carry out a range of economic exclusion zone management tasks such as maritime security, border control, routine patrols, and anti-smuggling."

The 90m OPV can be equipped with X-band navigation radar, S-band navigation radar, air and surface surveillance radar, electro-optic system electronics, and fire monitors.

The communications systems include high frequency transceiver, very high frequency transceiver, very high frequency marine band, and global maritime distress safety system.

90m OPV propulsion and performance

The new 90m offshore patrol vessel is powered by two diesel engines rated at 7,350kW each. The propulsion system also consists of two Wärtsilä propellers.

The patrol ship can sail at a maximum speed of 24kts. It can perform ocean patrolling within a range of 5,500nm, and has an endurance of 35 days.

Design variants of 90m OPV

The 90m OPV ship can be configured with a variety of equipment according to the operational requirements of navies across the world.

BAE Systems signed a technology transfer agreement with Bangkok Dock for the supply of design and technology of the 90m OPV for the Royal Thai Navy in June 2009.

Construction of the vessel named HTMS Krabi began in August 2010 and commissioning took place in August 2013.

BAE Systems also built and delivered three 90m OPV patrol ships with a similar design to the Brazilian Navy under a £133m ($202m) contract.

Defence Technology