The British Royal Navy has commissioned the second of the Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), HMS Medway, during a ceremony at Chatham Dockyard on the River Medway.

HMS Medway is based in Portsmouth and has been declared ready to deploy for operational duties.

The Royal Navy will induct a total of five Batch 2 River-class OPVs for deployment overseas, as well as in home waters.

HMS Medway commanding officer commander Ben Power said: “It is special to be commissioning this ship here on the River Medway, an area that has an incredibly strong connection with the Royal Navy going back to the 16th Century.

“We have a part to play in the very bright future of the Royal Navy. Medway is a very fine ship, she’s slick, fast and agile.”

The BAE Systems-built River-class vessels are designed to provide greater capability, a flight deck, increased top speed and improved endurance at sea.

The navy will use the class of ships to conduct counter-terrorism, anti-smuggling, maritime defence and counter-narcotics.

In addition, the OPVs will help the navy to secure the UK’s borders and protect interests overseas.

BAE Systems cut the first steel for HMS Medway in June 2015 in Glasgow.

The ship was delivered to the navy in March this year and first completed sea trials in June.

The 90m-long Batch 2 River-class OPVs have a displacement of 1,800t and can cruise at a top speed of 25k.

With a range of 5,500 miles, the ships have an endurance of 35 days.

All five vessels in the class are expected to be delivered to the navy by 2021.