The British Royal Navy’s fifth and final next-generation River-class offshore patrol vessel HMS Spey will begin contractor sea trials.  

The ship has sailed from the BAE Systems’ Scotstoun yard and has entered the sea for the first time. 

The ship was christened in October last year while construction began in April 2017 at Govan shipyard of BAE Systems. 

The 2,000t ship has a crew of Royal Navy sailors, BAE employees, contractors, inspections authorities, and civilian sailors. They will be involved in the tests and assessments which will be held off Scotland’s west coast. 

During the trials, systems on the vessel will be tested and will include live firing of weaponry, full engine power and top speed testing. After this, the ship will return to Scotstoun. 

Last month, the first sailors moved on board. The ship is expected to join the Royal Navy fleet later this year when it sails to Portsmouth.  

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HMS Spey will join the other vessels of the same class, namely HMS Forth, Medway, Tamar and Trent, that are operational. 

After the completion of the trials and training next year, HMS Spey will be a part of the Royal Navy’s Forward Presence programme.  

In August last year, HMS Forth made its first visit to Gibraltar.  

Forth was commissioned in April 2018 and began operations in June 2019 after completing operational sea training off western Scotland.