The fifth and final of the Royal Navy’s River-class offshore patrol ships has taken to the sea for the first time to start builder’s trials.
HMS Spey sailed from BAE Systems’ yard at Scotstoun on the Clyde to begin contractor sea trials with a mix of Royal Navy sailors, BAE employees, contractors, inspections authorities and civilian sailors.
The trials are a significant milestone in Spey’s short life to date and are designed to thoroughly test the capability and integrity of the vessel.
Her systems will be tested to the max and will include live firing of her weaponry (including her main 30mm gun), pushing the ship’s engines to their full power and testing her top speeds before the ship returns to Scotstoun.
The trials for the final ship come a little over three months after the Royal Navy commissioned the fourth unit, HMS Tamar, into active service in June this year.
The service ordered five Batch II River-class OPVs in 2014 to supplement the Batch I vessels. The ships displace 2,000 tons, have a 6,000 mile range and a flight deck capable of carrying a Merlin helicopter. They also carry a 30mm main cannon and can embark up to 50 personnel, in addition to about 40 crew.