The British Royal Navy has commissioned the final Batch 2 River-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV), HMS Spey.

During a short ceremony, the White Ensign was raised on the offshore patrol vessel for the first time.

HMS Spey is the fifth second-generation OPV procured for the navy. 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 features a flight deck for accommodating the navy’s Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.

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

Construction of the vessel began in April 2017 at Govan shipyard of BAE Systems. In September last year, HMS Spey began contractor sea trials.

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Spey first commanding officer lieutenant commander Ben Evans said: “It is such a privilege to lead Spey’s complement through the coming trials and training programme and bring her to operational status.

“In spite of the considerable disruption caused by the pandemic, the Royal Navy has received the fifth and final offshore patrol vessel and our job now is to prepare ourselves and Spey for whatever operations we are assigned.”

HMS Spey will support counter-terrorism and anti-smuggling work. It will also be deployed in support of defence operations.

It is yet to undergo safety and readiness checks. It will become formally operational later this year after completing Operational Sea Training.

With the handover of Spey to the navy, the Batch 2 programme comes to an end.