Join Our Newsletter - Get important industry news and analysis sent to your inbox – sign up to our e-Newsletter here
X

UK Navy’s HMS Spey OPV prepares for Basic Operational Sea Training

09 Apr 2021 (Last Updated April 9th, 2021 12:32)

The British Royal Navy’s Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) HMS Spey has been conducting training in preparation of its Basic Operational Sea Training (BOST).

UK Navy’s HMS Spey OPV prepares for Basic Operational Sea Training
Pictured is HMS SPEY sailing for the first time out of Portsmouth as a fully-fledged member of the Overseas Patrol Squadron. FIRST SAILING FOR HMS SPEY AS A ROYAL NAVY VESSEL A first venture into the Solent marks the first sailing by HMS Spey as a Royal Navy warship on her road to joining her sisters as fully-fledged members of the Overseas Patrol Squadron. Her Ready for Sea Date inspection was recently passed, allowing Commanding Officer Ben Evans to take the 90-metre patrol vessel out for the start of the next phase of tests, trials and training. He said: “The Ship’s Company and I have been enjoying a succession of firsts with HMS Spey, and there will be more to come as we build towards the excitement of our first operational deployment.” That deployment will be announced at the appropriate time, but Fleet Operational Sea Training will need to be successfully negotiated later this year after the Ship’s Company have grown accustomed to their new home. She arrived in Portsmouth in October, raising the Blue Ensign as a ship in public service but was yet to enter the Royal Navy. That changed in early January when the White Ensign replaced Blue. After receiving a ship’s company of around 60 men and women, who will rotate off and on-watch to maintain a crew of about 45 on board at any time, the road to operational status can begin. HMS Spey is the final of five Batch 2 River class offshore patrol vessels, suited for work in UK waters or overseas with a mess deck for 50 embarked troops and a helipad capable of receiving the Fleet Air Arm’s Wildcat or Merlin.

The British Royal Navy’s Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) HMS Spey has been conducting training in preparation of its Basic Operational Sea Training (BOST).

HMS Spey is the fifth and final next-generation OPV under the class.

The vessels were built under a contract with BAE Systems and are worth a combined £635m.

The 90m-long patrol vessels are fitted with a 30mm cannon and feature a flight deck to accomodate the navy’s Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.

During its preparations for BOST, HMS Spey achieved several milestones.

These include the first landing of Wildcat helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron on its flight deck and firing of the vessel’s weapons.

One of the milestones also included a maiden visit to Plymouth.

Spey first commanding officer lieutenant commander Ben Evans said: “Our first few weeks at sea have enabled us to galvanise as a team and fully test our abilities and the capability of this modern and very capable ship.

“I am privileged to be in command of such a fine ship, and a great group of individuals who have achieved nothing but success in our relatively short time together.

“I am thankful to our families and friends who have supported us throughout, and look forward to achieving more firsts in the coming weeks as we look forward to an exciting deployment.”

HMS Spey will also undergo training under Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) in Plymouth.

Upon completion of BOST training, HMS Spey will continue preparations for its deployment later this year.

The 2,000t ship, HMS Spey, was named by sponsor Lady Alison Johnstone during a naming ceremony at Scotstoun in 2019.