BAE Systems has begun work to support and provide maintenance on the UK Royal Navy’s Vosper Thornycroft Shipbuilding-built three River-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).
In September 2013, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) awarded £22m contract to BAE Systems to support and provide maintenance for the Royal Navy’s OPVs for the next five years.
Under the maintenance contract, BAE will provide 320 operationally available days per ship per year for the Royal Navy while enabling the ships to remain at sea as much as possible to support their primary missions of fishery protection, environmental protection, search and rescue and maritime security.
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BAE team for the contract involves the Ship’s Staff, the UK MoD and A&P Group.
BAE Systems Maritime Services Fleet Services Director, Richard Dingley, said: "The Royal Navy can be assured that the high ship availability we have achieved over the last ten years will continue."
Currently, a similar solution is being utilised to support the Royal Navy’s two hydrographic vessels, HMS Echo and HMS Enterprise, as well as HMS Clyde, based in the Falkland Islands.
Powered by two Ruston 12 RK 270 medium speed diesel engines, the 80m-long vessel’s design was carried out by Vosper Thornycroft, and assisted by Three Quays Marine.
Fitted with two Halmatic Jet Pacific 22 rigid inflatable boats (RIB), the River-class boats have a full load displacement capacity of 1,700t and can cruise at a top speed of 20k.
Featuring a Robertson AP9 MkIII autopilot, as well as an integrated navigation and communications suite, the vessels are armed with British Manufacturing and Research Company (BMARC) KAA 20mm gun and two general purpose machine guns.
Image: Royal Navy’s River-class vessels HMS Severn, Tyne and Mersey at sea. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.