The UK Royal Navy Batch 2 River-class OPV HMS Trent is currently pierside at HMNB Gibraltar and unable to undertake operations in the region, just a few months after having undergone a drydock refit at the British Overseas Territory.
The Batch 2 River-class OPVs are lightly armed vessels, displacing some 2,000 tons and used for maritime security and presence missions by the Royal Navy. The five-ship class is forward-deployed to areas of interest for the UK, with two (HMS Spey and HMS Tamar) currently based in the Indo-Pacific region, HMS Forth assigned to the Falkland Islands and South Atlantic, and HMS Medway operating in the Caribbean.
HMS Trent has been deployed on operations in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and West Africa since August 2020. Lightly armed, the Batch 2 River class evolved from the earlier Batch 1 with the addition of a flight deck to land helicopters, although the type has no hangar, and improved seakeeping capabilities.
It is not known what mechanical or maintenance issue HMS Trent is currently suffering from, nor when the vessel might return to operations.
When contacted, a UK Ministry of Defence spokesperson told Naval Technology that the vessel “has been alongside in Gibraltar for investigation” to enable repairs to take place.
“We are committed to getting her back on operations,” the spokesperson said.
The last social media posts from onboard HMS Trent were made in October last year, some days after the vessel had been refloated after undergoing at re-fit in Port of Gibraltar drydock. Posts show the OPV was alongside on 13 October and at sea on 14 October conducting gunnery trials, since when there has been no social media interaction from the vessel.
The other Batch 2 OPVs have been actively promoting key points of interest on their respective deployments. HMS Tamar has been engaged in port visits to the Indian Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Chittagong, Bangladesh, in January, while HMS Spey has conducted visit and operations around South Korea.
HMS Medway meanwhile has been seen to be active in the Caribbean in January conducting maritime rescue and counter-narcotics operations, while also providing aid to UK overseas territories in the region. The South Atlantic-based HMS Forth has also been active in January.