British Royal Navy’s OPV HMS Medway completes sea trials

13 December 2018 (Last Updated December 13th, 2018 15:11)

The British Royal Navy's Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) HMS Medway has completed its first sea trials in the Firth of Clyde.

British Royal Navy’s OPV HMS Medway completes sea trials
HMS Medway is the second of five new offshore patrol vessels. Credit: Royal Navy.

The British Royal Navy’s Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) HMS Medway has completed its first sea trials in the Firth of Clyde.

The 90m-long vessel HMS Medway is named after the River Medway in Kent and was built by BAE Systems.

Over 15 days, the sea trials were carried out under a mixed civilian and Royal Navy crew under admiralty trials master captain Graham Baxter.

During the trials, the OPV’s engines, sensors, and main cannon were tested, as well as other on-board systems, including the off-ship fire monitors.

The ship’s automated small calibre gun, the 30mm cannon, fired rounds at an inflatable target.

The OPV features the integrated platform management system to control and monitor its systems, and the combat management system assists the command team in decision-making by gathering sensor information.

Medway’s manoeuvrability, speed and range were also tested.

“Achieving so much during our trials period really shows how much effort we have all put in.”

Marine engineer chief petty officer Will Davies said: “It was great to finally get to sea on Medway.

“The small Royal Navy team benefited from the experience and had a lot of opportunities to improve their ship and systems knowledge. The whole trials package was really positive.”

Weapon engineer chief petty officer Luke Travell added: “Achieving so much during our trials period really shows how much effort we have all put in. BAE, ship’s staff and all the contractors should be really proud.”

HMS Medway will now undergo a final period of planned maintenance and improvements. It will sail to its future home of Portsmouth next year.

The five new 2,000t OPVs are set to replace the Royal Navy’s current River-class patrol ships, including HMS Tyne, HMS Mersey, HMS Severn and HMS Clyde.

The vessels are designed to meet the Royal Navy’s counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling requirements in order to safeguard the nation’s borders and shoreline.

In October, HMS Tamar was launched at BAE Systems’ Govan shipyard.