The British Royal Navy’s second-generation River-class patrol ship HMS Forth has commenced training around the Isle of Wight and Solent as it prepares to become the Falklands’ permanent guardship.
Forth is the first of five second-generation River-class patrol ships built by BAE Systems to be delivered to the navy by the end of next year.
The vessel has completed the first week of trials and safety drills off its home base of Portsmouth.
As part of the trials, Forth’s crew conducted drills including man overboard, fire-fighting, damage control, and machinery breakdown.
Forth will undergo more demanding training and trials before joining operational duty to replace HMS Clyde.
HMS Forth first commanding officer commander Bob Laverty said: “It has been a long road for my ship’s company to get to this point and I am exceptionally proud of every single one of them.
“In many respects now is the beginning of the journey for Forth as we put her through her paces and get to know our ship inside and out.”
HMS Forth executive officer lieutenant Sam Fields noted that it will be put through the first-of-class flying trials with a Wildcat helicopter later this year in order to prove the aviation capability of the class.
The patrol ship will undergo further trials over the next few months in the South Coast exercise areas before heading to Scotland where it will take part in front-line training.
Following trials, Forth will begin crew rotation and will be ready for deployment.
Forth’s sister vessels include Medway, Trent, Tamar and Spey.
The second-generation patrol ships are bigger and faster than their Tyne, Severn, and Mersey predecessors and will be deployed in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, South Atlantic or Far East.